Speaking ‘At’ Customers vs Speaking ‘To’ Them

Positive verbal commmunication creates respect.

While most businesses have numerous ways to be contacted electronically, the majority of us prefer to speak to humans verbally. This is not predicted to change in the near future.

So to, a good number of people believe they communicate better in writing, the human to human contact by voice is far more efficient, and in this day and age people’s impatience communicating via technology is too time-consuming and distracting.

sales person talking to customer

It’s proven that sales success is far more prevalent when there is a human to human voice interaction whether that be in person or over the phone.

Most importantly,  positive verbal communication in this day and age creates respect. It shows that you are making an effort and that your potential customer is important to you

The difference between talking ‘at’ someone and talking ‘to’ someone is critical, particularly in a verbal transaction.

"You're talking at me"

Talking ‘at’ someone comes with and from aggression and has negative connotations (and results!) in sales. Talking ‘at’ someone is where you would use single statements or phrases that are one-way, that don’t allow the other person to respond at all.

Here’s an example of talking ‘at’ someone: “You’d be a fool not to buy this”. The aggressive tone even in writing is offensive, baseless, and guaranteed to lose the sale.

"Talk to me"

Talking ‘to’ someone allows a fair and balanced conversation where both parties can engage confidently. It allows potential customers to ask questions without feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed.

You are essentially forming a relationship with this person and they will potentially part with their hard-earnt money to purchase from you so your words and tone of voice need to be respectful and empathetic.

Talking ‘to’ someone in a sales transaction is proven to be a key sales-tactic that works. You want your new customers to come back to you again, or to recommend your brand because of your good sales service, right?

Few people are born natural sales-people.

Invest in sales-training that works, and watch your turnover increase because of it!

For more information (or if you have any questions for the author Fiona Clark), you can get in touch via any of the methods below:

Physical Address:  

Suite 2/H
5 Ceres Court
Auckland, New Zealand

Phone: (09) 476 9407
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New Zealand