A Real-World Case for Clear Communication

sale sign

Today’s post was written by Brett Slater, Chief Social Media Officer at The Latimer Group

As The Latimer Group’s Chief Social Media Officer, I’m exposed to every single piece of content Dean and the team produces. I read every blog post, watch every video, and listen to every podcast, and as you imagine, some of the information does rub off. And even better, I sometimes get to apply it in real-world situations.

Recently, I spent some time in Tucson, Arizona, where we used to live, and where our house still hasn’t sold after having been on the market for over 5 months. So along with doing some minor repairs on the place, I also spent some time interviewing new Realtors. And it’s amazing what I noticed as I listened to almost a dozen agents attempt to sell themselves and get our home as a listing.

Throughout the interview process, almost every interaction reminded me of something The Latimer Group has been talking and writing about recently. Specifically:

1) Brevity, and getting to the point quickly. One agent’s presentation took so long that I found myself losing focus, my mind wandering until I had to finally actually ask her to cut to the chase and tell me what I wanted to know, because I had another appointment. Result? She had to hurry through the most important information. She never stood a chance.

2) Clarity, and keeping it simple. All but one agent brought a thick several-page leave-behind document full of numbers, data, and information which ultimately meant nothing to me. One of them even said to me, “Read this if you ever have trouble sleeping one night.” Har har. Next.

3) Listening, and being others-focused. Almost all the agents I interviewed came in talking – mostly about themselves: how they operate, their marketing techniques, their successes, stats, and accolades, and their ideas for solving our real estate problem, which they hadn’t even asked me about yet.

One agent didn’t fall into at least one of the above categories, and as expected, that was who we hired. The agent asked me about our situation: who we were, why we were selling, what my wife and I did for a living, etc. He learned who we are, and what we needed, and then offered a pricing and marketing solution based on our specific situation.

In a recent post, Dean talked about how being able to communicate clearly will give you competitive advantage. And I never found this to be more true than with my recent experience in Arizona. Now, maybe I’m hypersensitive to it because I’m exposed to these concepts on a daily basis, but for me, it mattered. People I interviewed literally lost my business because they didn’t get to the point, listen, be brief, and so on. And others earned my business because they did.

Consider this: if I’m hiring you to sell more than a quarter-million dollars of my property for me, and you can’t convey your value to me clearly, why should I think you’ll convey the property’s value to a buyer?

Brett Slater is the founder of Slater’s Garage Ads & Audio, a media development company that helps small businesses put a clear voice to their marketing. Brett has been a critical business partner of The Latimer Group since January 2008. He manages all aspects of our social media communications and actively participates in the crafting and creation of our marketing voice.

Photo: Dan Moyle used under the following license.


3 responses to “A Real-World Case for Clear Communication”

  1. Excellent use of story to make 3 great points for any type of communication. (I might even make point 3, i.e.listening and being other-focussed, as the first and most important point.) Thanks for sharing your experience and observations.

  2. […] is the exact same skill you need to survive now… you need to be able to speak to people, clearly, confidently, persuasively. You need to be able to tell a story, without a set of slides as your […]

  3. […] to persuade anyone of anything, you have to think about how to communicate your point in a way that will seem valuable to them. You have to make them care. If you want me to adopt your proposal, I am more likely to say […]

Dean Brenner

A book about change

The Latimer Group’s CEO Dean Brenner is a noted keynote speaker and author on the subject of persuasive communication. He has written three books, including Persuaded, in which he details how communication can transform organizations into highly effective, creative, transparent environments that succeed at every level.