Talk to your clients like they’re children…


Yes, that’s a provocative title, I know… but give me a moment to explain what I mean and hopefully by the end of this you’ll agree with me and it won’t seem so strange after all.

First, let’s consider how you might talk to a child- whether they are your own or not. Do you make judgments, disregard their feelings and presume they should know everything you do?

Absolutely not.

With this in mind, there are 5 things you can do to improve the quality of your client communications without making you feel pushy or salesy and it starts by imagining they are a 4-year-old child rather than an adult…


1. Simplify your message and language.

The first thing to note is that simplifying your message. (Of course, I was going to say that…)

The Feynman Technique is a 4 step approach to simplifying how you present your offering. In short, if you can’t explain it to a toddler then you need to simplify it.

Since I began Clear Sales Message, my mantra has been “If they don’t understand it. They can’t buy it.” I firmly believe that you can’t insult people by explaining things too simply(they will often appreciate the simplicity) but you CAN lose people by being too complicated or using jargon.

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2. Have a mellifluous tone.

Yes, I also had to google that word, it’s OK.

The definition of mellifluous is this:


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It’s essentially having a soft, smooth, pleasing voice, the kind of tone you would take when talking to a child.

When you talk to a child, you will notice you make your voice more soft, smooth and higher pitched. You tend to speak more slowly, in simpler terms and with a degree of empathy and care that you don’t use when speaking with adults.

The average reading age of an adult in the UK is 9 years of age, so the average listening age (if there were such a thing) will be on par.

Fewer words, softer tone, slower pace.

3. Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Talking to children often involves care and guidance. We want what’s best for children (particularly if they are our own) and we often forgive them for not knowing things or not doing things. We take the lead of the conversation and situation but without being overbearing – often we’ll say “Do you think you can do it, Timmy?” rather than “just do it Timmy…. what are you waiting for??”

This approach should echo into your client conversations.

Don’t chastise people or think less of them if they don’t know something, show them care and respect and give them the benefit of the doubt.

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4. Don’t give them too much choice

After simplification of message, change of tone and giving the benefit of the doubt, the supercharger is this – simplification of choice.

When speaking with children, we know that too much choice can lead to confusion and difficulty. Your clients are no different.

Presenting clients with as few options that are relevant to them as possible will maximise your chance of them making a decision versus not.

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5. Make it as easy as possible for them to win

If you’ve ever played a game with a child or had a play fight, did you push them as hard as you could, or did you make it as easy as possible for them to win?

I play chess with my 6-year-old son. In the beginning, I made it as easy as possible for him to win, because I knew it would help build his confidence and keep him engaged. If I thrashed him every time he would soon go back to Lego and lose interest.

Side note – he now beats me even when I’m trying to win and I’m not sure if I should be ashamed that a 6-year-old beats me or proud that I taught him to do it…?

The point here is to make it easy for your clients to “win” and that means making it easy for them to get what they want and do what they need to do.

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So there you have it.

If you want to improve the quality of your communication with your clients, treat them like children by simplifying your message, making it easy for them to buy, reducing choice and having a softer tone.

Treat them like adults, but talk to them like children 😉

Are you an “I’m not a salesperson” person?

In Selling Confidence, we cover everything from finding, engaging, closing and following up clients as well as the mindest you need to develop to succeed. We provide the tools and strategies you need. Find out more: www.sellingconfidence.com

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