The more you talk the more likely you are to get yourself into trouble. If you are wise you will keep quiet and measure your words very carefully. This is a life principle that applies to all of us in all of our relationships.
If you just keep your mouth shut, you are more likely to stay out of trouble. This is the sensible thing to do, most of the time. Opening your mouth can ruin everything if you are not careful. A person can seem really wise until you hear him open his mouth.
On the other hand, we do have to talk, don’t we? We can’t be quiet all our lives. Life does require communication with others through the spoken word. I have always said that technicians who become good communicators have higher tickets. They have to get their tunnel vision off of the problem and look at the customer.
However, communication is not about many words; it is about measured and concise words. A truly wise person talks less and uses few words. Even as he talks he is quick to listen, slow to speak and is calm and even tempered under stress. Think before you speak because you can’t stop the words once they are spoken. The damage is already done. Don’t be the person who has no interest in understanding and only wants to hear his own opinion.
The Service Call Blueprint – Field Tested Strategies For Higher Revenue is a collection of a few simple boundaries for technicians to execute that produces better results. The central idea is to show options for repair and put the weight of the responsibility for choosing the repair on the customer where it belongs and not on the technician.
It is two simple boundaries: number one is the technician must learn to let go of the position of choice for the customer and respect this boundary; number two is that the technician must take ownership of the presentation process and show options for repair.
When talking, be clear, concise and communicate the why behind the what. Our clients invest in the why, not the what.
So how do you teach a technician to measure his words and be concise? You write a script and expect him to learn it word for word. Ugh! I also felt this way and discovered that I was wrong because very few technicians could come up with their own words. They would ramble and talk too much out of their own anxiety. The more they would talk the more the costumers eyes would glaze over and the technicians would lose them.
I learned that teaching only theory was not working for most of my clients, so I had to write scripts. However, I believed that expecting a person to execute a script was taking away his freedom to be himself. This is not true. While words are important, the person can still express them as himself. The words are only 7% of the process.
Words attempt to convey ideas and thoughts from one person to another. However, words do not give justice to the speed of thought. The entirety of what you are attempting to convey is also expressed through physiology, otherwise known as body language. Remember the idiom “if looks could kill?” Researchers say that our physiology communicates about 53% of what we want to communicate.
Researchers also say that tempo and tone of voice communicate the other 40% of what is intended. So if a technician uses my words, there is still 93% of himself he can express. Additionally, if a group of technicians do not like my words, we can come up with other words that accomplish the same goals. The English language has many synonyms.
Let’s talk more about what word for word means. There is a funny Seinfeld episode in which Kramer goes into a bank that has a policy to give customers $100 if they are not greeted with a “hello.” When the teller greets Kramer with a “hey” instead, Kramer demands his $100. While Kramer argues the point in the bank president’s office, the president calls in four tellers to get their opinions. Teller #1 greets Kramer with a “how you doing?” Teller #2 greets Kramer with a “what’s happening?” Teller #3 greets Kramer with “what’s up?” and Teller #4 greets Kramer with a “how’s it going?”
The point being, when we write a script, we need to use wisdom in executing it. Understanding is a mental process where one comprehends the facts. We understand the difference between a fruit and a vegetable. Wisdom is taking knowledge and understanding how to execute it through our behavior.
Even though we know that a tomato is a fruit and we understand what that means, wisdom says that a tomato does not go in a fruit salad but a vegetable salad. If the script says to say “hello,” the others forms are okay.
Below is a sample of what I think is a good greet when performing an annual tune up. It say’s everything that needs to be said and nothing more.
Step 1 Get their agenda.
Tech: Hi Mrs. Jones I’m _______. Thank you for letting us come out. I’m here to do your system check.
Ask questions and listen. Some questions that you may ask:
- Any frustrations or concerns?
- Any thing you want me to look at specifically while I’m here?
Step 2 Express your agenda and get agreement
- Tech: Let me give you my service agreement talk so you’ll be comfortable with what I’m going to do. Is that okay?
The reason I’m here is to make sure that your system is reliable, efficient and safe.
Tech:I don’t expect to find anything but If find a concern with something, what I would like to do is bring it to your attention and then you can guide me as to what you would like to do, if anything. How does that sound?
- Are we okay on time?Good I’ll be here about _____ and if I need you I’ll find you.
What is the bottom line? We talk when we get nervous and all of us should learn to embrace out own anxiety and say less and listen more. Say only what needs to be said and nothing more. Relax, rest and embrace the silence. This is the evidence of true wisdom.
Roger Daviston is a cognitive behavioral specialist who helps clients achieve and maintain behavioral change. His new book The Service Call Blueprint is available on Amazon.com.
Watch The Service Call Blueprint webinar online. RogerDaviston.com