Monday, 24 March 2014

The well said sell - verbal and vocal selling skills

St Pancreas Station ? 
The recent survey on mispronounced spoken English  by native born Brits from the PR team for St Pancras International Railway Station , London prompted me to re-examine how my spoken English has slipped.

This has nothing to do with accents but is about our sloppy pronunciation and is not a new phenomenon

“It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.” 
                                    George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion (1916) preface

In Shaw’s day it was  the class system.

 Whether such prejudice is right is neither here nor there. The rules are not equal for those who pitch  and those that sit in judgement of us .

The survey mentioned the following pronunciation errors.  No 3 and  6. being ones I confess that I make.

How well spoken are you on the top ten mispronounced words ? 
 1. Ely Mispronounced by 59% of people EE-lee NOT Ee-Lie

2. Keighley (West Yorkshire town) 40% keith-lee NOT ki-lee or kay-lee

3. Sherbet 40% shur-but NOT sher-burt

4. Et cetera 34% et-set-ter-eh NOT ecc-set-ter-eh

Aleksandr with Statue of poet
 John Betjamin at London's St Pancras Station
5. St Pancras 33% Saint Pan-krass NOT Saint Pan-kree-ass

6. Espresso 26% ess-press-oh NOT ex-press-oh

7. Bruschetta 25%  Brew-sket-a to be truly Italian NOT Brew-shet-a

8. Often 24% (traditionally offen, although off-ten has become increasingly common in the UK)

9. Prescription 21% Pruh-skrip-shun NOT per-skrip-shun or pro-skrip-shun

10. Greenwich 16% Gren-itch NOT Green-witch or Green-itch 
Some salespeople are unaware when they use slang, make grammatical mistakes, or pronounce words incorrectly. Having poor skills in speaking in whatever languages reflects badly on themselves.

Analysing the standard of your spoken English in Selling requires some courage to be open and self critical. 

It is rather akin to analysing your driving. Few of us appreciate a person criticising our driving .

Like driving we tend to be on an auto pilot setting .,  We are seldom conscious of how we are speaking.

Yet speaking well is an important asset to a professional sales person.  It encompasses many qualities. 

To pull you out of your subconscious auto pilot speaking mode here are some open ended questions which require you to give evidence of how well you speak.

Action :Grab a pencil and paper, give each question some thought and record your responses to the questions below,

o      What forms of phrases help you to speak with well-formed sentences in presenting your offer ?

2.     What are the components that make up your speech articulate when speaking to clients?

3.     How do you build up large and diverse vocabulary for presenting your offer?

4.     What  vocal techniques and exercises do you employ to help you speak clearly ?

5.     How do ensure you speak with a good pace, tone, and intonation ?

6.      What drills do you use so words  come easily to you to help you speak with fluency during a sales conversation ?

7.     What tips do you use to explain your offer easily?

8.     What disciplines do you engage in order to  speak in a  straightforward manner and meaning what you say?

9.     How  do you convey  thoughtfulness and courtesy  to the needs of your buyer?

1. In what ways do you avoid twittering ( as opposed to tweeting!) , blathering ?


First Impressions in your VOICE 

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