Misommunication can stop you making a sale. Discover the ways call recordings can help.

Minimize Misunderstandings with Call Recordings (The EASY Way)

Want to know what turns sales prospects off quicker than a bullet to your sales-driven heart? INT.ER.R.UP.TION.S.

Annoying to read? Now imagine you’re talking and someone keeps butting in like a mosquito that just doesn’t know when to quit. Instead of squishing irritating salespeople though, we generally advise people to just click “end call”.

What would be even better is if salespeople used an online meeting recorder so they could nip miscommunication issues in the bud before they rile up potential prospects. 

In this article, we’ll focus on how to improve sales team performance by minimizing miscommunication with call recordings. This way you can avoid interrupting your prospects and let them do the talking. Oh, and it’s easier than you think!

Communication is key!

Why Is Good Communication Important?

Why is grass green? Good communication is indispensable in every aspect of life, but particularly to sales. Taken to the extreme, bad communication leads to a bunch of grunts and shrugs that take us back to the Stone Age.

By expressing ourselves clearly, actively listening to each other, and being honest, we create harmonious relationships that can benefit both parties. Not everybody shares the same interests and beliefs, but with good communication, this doesn’t have to become a problem. 

In sales, this might reflect in negotiations of price. You’d be surprised how much someone would be willing to budge if they felt understood and respected when they spoke.

"Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity."

Communication: The Figures

18% of workers in a survey said that miscommunication at work led to the failure to make a sale. 30% of those sales were over $100,000, while a further 36% of sales were between $10,000 and $99,000. 

Miscommunication is costing you money. While this is just as important internally, the focus here is with sales prospects. You need to be able to listen to what they say – and what they don’t say.

To make a sale, you need to do the following:

  • Get your prospect comfortable enough to share what’s wrong 
  • Understand the problem with empathy
  • Create a strategy to solve the problem
  • Demonstrate the solution to their problem in a way that they understand

While obviously the nitty gritty details can and will change, the basic gist is the same. You understand the problem, create the solution, and sell it to the prospect.

Rule Number One: Don’t Talk Over Your Customer

Talking over your prospects is just plain rude

The most fundamental rule you should never break when trying to make a sale is this: don’t talk over your customer. We’re aware that through video calls, there can be a bit of a time delay and it can make things a little more awkward, but here are four brief steps that you can follow to make sure this doesn’t become an issue.

  1. Let your prospect talk more
    If you’re talking the same amount as your prospect, you’re doing it wrong. It’s that simple. Let their voice dominate the conversation. You don’t have to be weird about it. Still participate in the conversation, but let your prospect speak more. Aim to reduce your speaking time to as little as 30% of the conversation. 
  2. Leave longer pauses
    Don’t be afraid to pause. A lot of salespeople find silence terrifying. Don’t be this type of person. A good rule of thumb is to give your prospects 3-5 seconds to respond after everything you say, and remember that that response doesn’t have to be verbal either. Also pause for the same amount of time after they’ve finished speaking. This will ensure they’re definitely finished.
  3. Break up your speech.
    Ordinarily, you might be inclined to mention two or three points in one run-on sentence. Don’t do this. Always give your prospect the chance to respond to each and every point you make. Choose your words wisely and make them count.
  4. Watch and listen to their reaction. 
    After everything you’ve said, monitor their response. Take in the things they say, the movements or facial expressions they pull, the utterances or nods. These can all hold immense meaning and if you aren’t paying attention, you might miss them.

8 More Ways to Improve Communication in Sales

1. Pay Attention

Pay attention to the response of your prospects

To give your full attention requires focus and concentration for an extended period of time. It is unfair to the prospect if you’re only half-listening. Even if you’re doing something relevant like making notes, you’re dividing your attention and inevitably missing key details. 

Because of this, there are a few things you can do to ensure full concentration.

1. Get a Good Rest

The number one inhibitor to your concentration is how well-rested you are. 

This infographic, taken from the Sleep Foundation, shows the short-term and long-term effects of poor sleep on cognitive function. The number one effect in the short-term is “difficulty concentrating”. When you’re having a call with a sales prospect, the last thing you need is to be nodding off on the job. Get a good rest and enter the call enthused and full of energy, ready to detect even the slightest changes in body language.

2. Use an Automatic Note-Taker

With a meeting recorder like tl;dv, you can remain fully committed to your conversation by having the intuitive AI take notes on your behalf. You also get an AI summary at the end of each call, allowing you to briefly review the meeting as a whole. 

These features were specifically developed to keep business teams fully focused on the meeting and what’s being said, rather than half paying attention and half scrawling notes.

“But it is impossible to enjoy a [...] conversation unless attention is fully concentrated on the activity.”

2. Listen. Really Listen.

71% of customers are irritated by salespeople who don’t listen, and 52% are frustrated when salespeople don’t remember information given to them earlier. And it’s no wonder, really. Even in the non-sales world, people not listening is a complete pain in the a**.

There are several ways you can show your prospects that you are actively listening to them:

  • Recite the prospect’s words back to them
  • Double check to ensure you heard them correctly
  • Ask relevant follow-up questions to bring clarity to their statements  
Listen to your prospects to minimize miscommunication

One key way you can ensure you’re listening is by timestamping key points with tl;dv, rather than interrupting the speaker. If they say something that you want to respond to, but they continue talking and change the topic, just drop a timestamp and you can hop back to it later. You could also add a manual note so that you remember to bring the topic up again later. 

Don’t forget: listen to the silence too. I don’t want to get all philosophical on you, but there is a subtle power in silence. And you should be aware of that power so you can wield some of it yourself. People can say a lot with their body language, which is a great segue into point #3.

3. Understand Body Language

Don’t just listen. Always watch your prospects. By recording the meetings, you can even go back and rewatch older sales calls to study body language in a similar setting. 

Always keep your eyes peeled for when a prospect looks happy. Try and identify the cause. Similarly, if your prospect recoils, perhaps at a mention of price, or if they look visibly bothered or frustrated, try to locate the cause. Was it something you said? Was it something local to them, i.e their cat just clawed the furniture. The more you can find out about why your prospects are acting the way they are, the closer you are to making a deal. 

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said."

You can use tl;dv here to understand your own body language too. Most people aren’t aware of their own body language at the time, especially when focused on listening. Upon rewatching your recorded calls, you can identify your own body language that may have impacted the prospect in one way or another. This process allows you to learn to control your own body language and purposely give off signs that promote enthusiasm, passion, and engagement. 

4. Be Honest

Unless you’re some kind of omniscient god, you’re not going to know everything about your prospect. This is true even if you’re a certified expert in the field. Acknowledge what you don’t know, and your prospect will admire your honesty.

Not only will you get bonus points for being down-to-earth and authentic, you’ll also pass the torch over to your prospect so that they are the ones speaking. Remember the 4 points from rule number one?  Let them do the talking.

I've got a very honest face

It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to assume anything about your prospect either. One of the quickest ways to kill a deal dead is to assume something about the prospect or the deal without having it clearly stated beforehand. Leave bias at the door.

It’s also wise to remain honest to gain your prospect’s trust. It’s unlikely they’re going to tell you all about their targets and weaknesses without first developing some semblance of trust.

If this isn’t the first time dealing with this client, you can make them feel like an old friend by rewatching your old video calls with them and recapping all the things you discussed and information you learned about them on the previous calls. Just pop to the tl;dv library and use its intuitive AI search function. This works even if you didn’t attend the previous meetings yourself.

5. Get Specific

You want to be as clear and coherent as possible. Nobody likes vast sweeping statements or generic terms that could mean anything. They want specificity so they can truly understand what you mean and comprehend your vision. Failing to provide this is like trying to drive a car without an engine. You can talk all day but nothing will get said. 

Choose your words with deliberation. Keep them to a minimum. The quicker you can convey your meaning to its highest potential, the better. This would be a lot easier if we were all psychic, but some of us haven’t attained that power yet. For us mere mortals, we’ve just gotta be more specific.

This goes hand in hand with confidence, too. If you’re an expert in your subject matter (which you should be if you’re selling), then you’ve gotta express your competence with the right details, and jargon if necessary. Don’t just use it to show off though. A good rule of thumb is to use jargon if your prospect uses it, but refrain (unless unavoidable) if they don’t.

With tl;dv, you can analyze your past performances by scanning the automatically generated meeting transcripts to see how direct you’re sounding with your words alone. This is good practice for those who want to become more concise.

6. Ask, Ask, and Then Ask Some More

Nothing engages a prospect like the idea that their words are important to you. Show genuine curiosity and you’ll unlock a new level of trust in your prospects. 

By asking questions, you get them talking and you can switch into active listener mode. Be enthusiastic. Share in your prospect’s passion and ask them to elaborate on things you’re interested in. Make them feel valued by respecting their opinion and encouraging them to voice it.

As with the aforementioned points, you can use tl;dv to analyze your performance here, rewatching your meetings to see where you could have engaged further through an avid curiosity.

7. Master Tone, Pitch, and Cadence

Learn how to speak with purpose. While you don’t have to go to public speaking classes to improve your communication with clients, it can certainly help to get the basics under your belt.

The tone you chose can have a lot of implications. If you’re super stern, you might put someone off who is a bit more whimsical. Similarly, if you’re trying to be funny all the time, you may completely miss the mark with somebody who just wants to get the deal done.

Pitch and intonation can also imply a lot of things. Use it wisely to draw more attention to certain words or phrases. 

Finally, cadence affects clarity and can alter the efficiency of your words. If you say something very quickly, jumbling all the words together, then the meaning can be lost. If you select words that sing together, you can create a lasting impact with just a few sentences.

Most importantly, you’ll want to speak in a way that your prospect feels comfortable with. Meet them on their ground and they’re far more likely to open up and let you in. Match their tone, use their own words to clarify things, and replicate their level of formality so you don’t come across as too formal or too informal.

8. Enjoy the Silence

We already mentioned this earlier, but it’s well worth reinforcing. Don’t be afraid of silence. Get comfortable in it. Give your prospect time to answer, rather than bombarding them with more information almost as soon as you’ve finished speaking. 

Leave 3-5 second pauses after you’ve finished, and also after they’ve finished. This will improve your communication tenfold on its own. 

Not Just For Salespeople

The survey we talked about earlier says: “Unclear instructions from superiors, pointless meetings and other stressors can snowball into larger issues with widespread impacts on the business.”

As you can see, miscommunication is not just limited to salespeople and prospects. It can have a widespread impact on the business as a whole from internal meetings that leave colleagues confused or annoyed. Just as talking over prospects will lose you a sale, talking over employees is going to cost you productivity. People don’t like it.

Luckily, you can also use tl;dv in your internal meetings. This is great for reducing time in unnecessary meetings as employees can catch up quickly and easily at a time of their choosing.

Start Minimizing Misunderstandings NOW

Download tl;dv for Google Meet or Zoom and start improving your communication skills and improving your sales team performance. It’s free to install and there’s absolutely no commitment to paying anything. In fact, all the features mentioned in this post are completely free to use right now. Set up takes about five minutes!

Start building your library of meetings so that you can compound your source for growth and learning. You can also use this in the onboarding experience to highlight communication skills to new members using our highlight reels function.

tl;dv for Sales
Spend your time where it matters most. Uncover Sales intelligence and track how well your team follows your Playbooks. tl;dv is an AI Meeting Assistant that helps you (finally) get insights from all your meetings, right in your team's favorite tools.
Recordings & Transcripts (+30 languages)
Onboard new reps with ease
Evaluate your meetings against popular frameworks like MEDDIC, BANT and more
Create your own framework
Automatically push your meeting notes to your favourite CRM
Speaker insights to help you keep control of your meetings

tl;dv Blog

Subscribe to our Blogs

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest tips and news on Meetings, Sales, Customer Success, Productivity, and Work Culture.