Here are two types of ways of speaking you should avoid if you are trying to be customer specific in your conversations:

Absolutes

Avoid using words that are absolutes.

Avoid blanket statements that aggregate all possibilities under the one umbrella.

“All men are bad people”.

This statement is inclusive. It is factually incorrect and it is impossible to prove its validity.

At best it can be described as a sweeping generalisation.

The use of a statement like this says more about the person speaking than they probably intend, or want.

I’d rank its use up there with the Bob Hawke “No child will live in poverty” comment on the scale of stupidity.

The reason why:

Comments that are polarizing should be avoided. 

Avoid blanket statements, like:

“Michael Jackson? I hate his music!”

Instead, if asked your opinion by someone, ask a question in return.

Ask them the same question back at them.

“What do you think of Michael Jackson? Do you like his music?”

Then, once you understand their position, you can speak diplomatically.

I’d frankly offer more questions.

This avoids being absolute.

Broad general statistics

One of the questions I ask in my pre-interview questionnaire is the question:

“What is the average two-year value of a New Patient to your dental practice?”

What I haven’t asked is this: 

“What do you think is a good rounded number that you can throw back at me that will make me think that you know this answer when you actually have no idea at all…”

People will often give me a number ending in three zeros. Or two.

“About $2000.00”

Or

“$1500.00”

Which shows to me that they have no idea of what they are talking about.

The solution:

Be absolute.

Speak in numbers like: 

“Fifty three percent of….”

“I’d like to say the number is still sitting on sixty three percent…”

“$2430.00”

Rounded percentages and rounded numbers will be less believable than exact percentages.

If you want to be trusted and be considered as an “interesting” person, then you need to hang your hat on more of those more accurate and specific numbers as opposed to speaking in round numbers and generalities…

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