Executive Vice President, The Brooks Group
The other day, I attended a Vistage speaker presentation delivered by a guy by the name of Michael Allosso. Allosso has a fascinating background in show business – among other things – and the main takeaway from his talk was we always need to be “on” and aware of how we’re coming across to others.
A particular aspect of his presentation about the concept of “micromessaging” caught my attention. Author Stephen Young, in his book by the same title, defines micromessaging as“the nuanced behaviors that we all blindly use and react to in our dealings with others.” In my opinion, another interpretation of that definition could be something like, “micromessaging involves the ways people perceive and judge each other based on things other than direct verbal communication.”
Leaning forward in your chair while listening to someone, having a bored look on your face in a meeting, wearing a well-pressed shirt, the type of watch you wear, walking with a purpose or just kind of aimlessly wandering along…all of these are sending messages about you.
And, like it or not, people are using them to judge you.
Unfortunately, humans evaluate each other on a very surface level. We all claim we don’t because it’s not the “right” thing to say….but the reality is that we do.
As Allosso was talking about micromessaging, it occurred to me how important this concept is in the relationship between a buyer and a salesperson. We have, for years, talked about the role of dress, style and image as a component of a salesperson’s positioning.
But I think micromessaging is about much more than that.
“Micromessage management” (I just made that one up) could be described as everything we do to appear as fully present for, in tune with, prepared for, in touch with, and as well-put-together as we can. At The Brooks Group, we refer to this in the context of pre-call planning and positioning.
Here are some questions I urge you to share with your sales team:
- Does my appearance reflect my desire to be seen as a professional problem-solver and value-bringer?
- During the course of my meetings, do I consciously control my body language and facial expressions to indicate I’m completely present?
- Do I match my prospect’s or customer’s communication style and preference in terms of formality or informality?
- Do I double- and triple-check my written communications for accuracy and clarity, or do I just hit send?
Are you doing everything you can to control your own personal micromessaging to make sure that you’re represented in the best possible light?
Reflecting on it at this moment, I know that I sometimes get so caught up in making the next meeting or executing the next task that I don’t slow down to take into account the cues I give to others about myself.
Perhaps the same could be said for you?
Thanks for reading.