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The art of communication

In a people-oriented service industry like insurance, communication plays the most important role in maintaining sustained achievements.

india Updated: Mar 03, 2006 16:26 IST
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In a people-oriented service industry like insurance, communication plays the most important role in maintaining sustained achievements.

In this day and age, with the speed of communication that technology has achieved, there can be no excuse for poor communications tripping us up at any point. A free flow of communication in all directions has become a necessity in good management. Therefore, the quality of communications is something we need to constantly improve.

Although it is management that is responsible for keeping all lines of communications open so that the lowest staff member is free to express her/his views, grievances, suggestions and thoughts, every staff member must become an active participant in this multi-lane traffic.

We must not forget that the consumer is very well informed today, and news from every part of the world travels close to the speed of light throughout the globe. People's aspirations have risen and consumers expect the best in products and services.

Verbal communication skills
Thus, it is the primary business of the sales staff to communicate skilfully with prospective clients, to convert prospects into firm sales. All of us are able to communicate quite well at a basic level. Some of us are shy when communicating with strangers, while some are shy even with our friends. Poor communicators cannot make good sales persons, but communication skills can be learned, and the foundation of good communication helps builds self-confidence.

Self-confidence
The two main keys to self-confidence are self-esteem and knowledge. All of us feel more or less confident in some situation or the other. That is absolutely normal.

Even the best and most seasoned actors, for instance, feel a certain degree of stage fright each time they have to perform. What saves the situation is these two keys — self-esteem and knowledge.

If we lack self-respect, we will automatically display poor self-confidence. And if we are ignorant about a matter, we
cannot feel confident either.

Take the situation of a sales agent who is about to step out into the market on the behalf of his firm, all alone. The situation is similar to that of an actor appearing on the stage before the audience.

In this kind of a situation, it’s advisable to remember who you are and also recall the weeks of training and education (knowledge) that has gone to prepare you for just this day.

Armed with respect for yourself and the education you have received, you will be now facing a test. It does not matter if you trip a few times. It does not matter even if you fail miserably. This is because it’s only your first time. With each encounter, you will learn something new about yourself and about the situation you face.

In short, remember that the prospect you’ll meet is just another human being, exactly like yourself, probably just as nervous as you are about the situation.

Here’s a handy tip. Instead of trying to cover your own nervousness, try to make the other person feel comfortable. You would be surprised at how cool you start to feel!

Excerpt Courtesy: Marketing Insurance by G.N Bajpai, Published by Global Business Press