Do you sometimes feel under-valued?  Do you sometimes feel that people would buy your product or service if they only realised what it could do for them?  Many people do.  I used to feel that way all the time (sometimes I still do, but I know the problem lies with me), and I frequently talk to friends and clients who feel that way.

The easiest way to find out whether other people are hearing and understanding what you say is to listen to their response.  At networking meetings, people will often say to me, “Most people don’t value my work for what it is worth.”  The reality is that they have not managed to communicate the value of their work to others.  It’s a pretty natural response when we don’t get the interest and buy-in we’re expecting, but the truth is that there is something you can do about it – and that something is to take responsibility for the response you get.

The Meaning Of The Communication Is The Response You Get

I’d like to illustrate this with a true story about Sally, a client of mine who was having trouble relating to her co-workers.  One day she walked into my office and said, “I’m so over my boss, he is impossibly inconsiderate!”  After a series of questions to uncover what the heart of the issue was for Sally, I learned that she had been in a meeting with her boss and had stated, “It’s a little bit draughty in here, isn’t it?” and then got very hurt and angry when her boss didn’t offer her a glass of water.

Somehow, when Sally had said, “It’s a little bit draughty in here, isn’t it?” she had expected her boss to understand that she was thirsty and needed a drink.

Now before you say to yourself, “Well, clearly Sally has a problem!”  I’d like you ask yourself if you’ve ever made an indirect request hoping that your friend, partner, or colleague would understand that you are asking for help.  You know what’s really interesting?  This is how we communicate every day. You hear people saying, “I told her, she has to know – she has to know that I’m upset with her!”

“What did you say?” you’ll ask, and they respond, “Oh she just knows, I’m sure of it.”

“Don’t be!”

The real meaning of the communication is the response you get.  If her boss doesn’t get Sally a glass of water then she can’t have made it clear that she wanted a glass of water.  If your significant other doesn’t change their behaviour, you probably didn’t tell them clearly what the problem was and what response you were looking for. 

If it happens once, the problem might be the other person – if it’s happening often then it’s probably time to take a good look at how clearly you communicate.

How Does This Apply to Sales?

In a sales context, that translates to, “If someone doesn’t want to pay your fee then YOU didn’t make it clear enough how valuable your services are to them.”

Now whose fault is it if the client doesn’t perceive the value of your service?  Is it the client’s fault or is it your fault?

Many people don’t like to take that sort of responsibility on themselves.  If you are taking charge of your own life and living at cause rather than at effect … if you’re empowered to influence others, then you should be willing to realise that you haven’t communicated in the most effective way that matches the needs of the person you’re talking to.

If you feel that prospects who are a great fit for your services aren’t taking you seriously then look at the value proposition you are sharing with them, the words you are choosing, and the mindset that backs up everything you say.

Meta Description:  Do you ever complain that people don’t understand or appreciate your product or service as much as they should?  NLP teaches that the meaning of your communication is the response you get and you can change the response by changing your flexibility.

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