Want to Communicate like the C-Suite with Sales Linguistics? Let’s dive in. In his book Heavy Hitter Sales Psychology: How to Penetrate the C-Level Executive Suite and Convince C-Level Executives to Buy, Steve W. Martin applies his own framework of Sales Linguistics to communicate messages during the sales process. He outlines 7 types of language, verbal and nonverbal, that influence buyer behavior, particularly at the C-level.
At Demo Solutions, we constantly in pursuit of new ways of communicating and we wanted to share some of the ways Martin’s frameworks and findings integrate with what we know to be true in demoing and presentations that advance and win deals.
Martin’s 7 Languages, Full Article Here! (Definitions are excerpted verbatim)
Steve Martin contends that your goal in a meeting with C-level is for the executive to reveal to you what his/her internal dialogue is and what HE/SHE wants. This makes the words you speak and the way you communicate of critical importance. One of our guiding principles at Demo Solutions and the subject of much of our content is the emphasis of your demo or presentation to be entirely driven by the person you are presenting to. Their needs, their language, and their solution. We would like to offer Demo Solutions based on Martin’s framework.
1. Word catalog language. The mind’s method for receiving and interpreting information based upon the three sensory channels—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (feelings and a sense of the body).
Demo Lesson: Choose your words, memes, and themes wisely. If you are looking to connect based on word catalog, consider practicing some improv acting techniques, we have some samples here. The key is discovery. Get as much information as possible and continue gathering information from your client during the demo, and after.
2. Internal dialogue language. The never-ending stream of communication inside the mind that represents honest, unedited, and deep feelings.
Demo Lesson: Consider the facial expressions or mirror your facial expressions on your audience. This takes considerable practice but it helps you read your audience and see when you have lost them. Losing an audience can take a second and you can also lose the deal that way.
3. Physical language. Also known as body language, the nonverbal communication that is constantly being emitted by the executive’s body posture.
Demo Lesson: Mirroring technique is excellent for communicating this way. This is not linguistics per se, but by subtly mirroring the body language of the person you are meeting with, it signals approval and receptiveness to what they are communicating.
4. Intersecting activity language. Interests, hobbies, and personal pursuits by which the executive displays his personality, beliefs, and values.
Demo Lesson: Be very careful with this form of communication. We have inherent biases that can color our perception of our audience and if we play to the perception of what they want to hear based on perceived values and beliefs, we can lose a deal in warp speed. See here our Demo toolbox for Demo Fails and Demo Biases.
5. Technical specification language. The androgynous, nonpersonal, and technical communication that is based upon the nomenclature and technical terms of the executive’s industry. For example, the computer industry terms RAM, CPU an megabyte.
Demo Lesson: We have a specific warning about this in Demo Fails, called Buzz words. Only use words that you are positive are in their company lexicon and learn their normative language and terms. If they have certain names for members of their sales orgs, even better. Learn the culture of the company before employing the language.
6. Business operations language. The language that is specific to the daily running of the executive’s business and his role in the organization.
Demo Lesson: If you are in a stage of discovery where you identified a person at the organization that is offering most of the information you will be used to customize your demo or presentation, and you have gained their trust, then you can ask into a hierarchy of the organization and how the day to day runs.
7. C-level language. The most powerful trust-based language by which the executive explains his personal needs, desires, and plans along with the strategy by which he hopes to fulfill them.
Demo Lesson: Go easy on the ask for personal desires and fulfillment in a Demo. If you run your process and discovery thoroughly, you will likely build a rapport with your clients and by the time you are demoing, you are in a position to close, right there, on the spot. If you deliver a demo too early and have not established a trust, you might lose your deal.
How to Communicate Like the C-Suite with Sales Linguistics
Knowing which language style with what level of the sales process is critical. This is where context plays a big part. We break it down for you below.
- Sales Person or Initial Contact: In the initial stages of discovery, when you may be reaching out cold, you use the Words Catalog Language and our basic tips for communicating effectively. Watch body language, practice understanding tone, and educate yourself on the person you are speaking with.
- Secondary Contact and Discovery: Use Physical Language and Intersecting Language to establish trust while conducting discovery.
- Strategic Partner: Use Business Operations Language with a contact that has emerged as someone who is looking to help you win your deal.
- C-Suite Language: Use this language to close your deal and speak in the language of the client or organization you are looking to sell to.
If you are looking to increase your connection with clients and communicate the value of your products more effectively, contact Demo Solutions today.