Why are you speaking so slowly?

Meet John.

Tall, solidly built, he speaks slowly in a low gravelly voice. Over the years I’ve never known him to make quick decisions, always preferring to mull things over slowly and considerately.

I once said to him, “John, I think that every time I say something to you it slowly goes all the way from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes and then comes back again before you decide how to respond.”

His response? (After thinking about it for a minute!) “You’re right”.

Welcome to the world of the kinaesthetic responder.

Over the last couple of articles we’ve written how people process information. Starting with Visual and Auditory preferences.

We’ve related how visually oriented people tend to be fast thinkers, fast talkers and want information presented in a visual form. Listening to them you’d get a sense their voice is coming from their heads.

Individuals with an auditory preference tend to exhibit more variation in their voice modulation, speak with a lower pitch and use colourful descriptive language. Their voice appears to come from the upper region of their chests.

Kinaesthetic types experience the world through their bodies and tend to give more weight (almost literally) to their feelings. Listening to them you might think their voices are coming from their stomachs.

And yes, I realise we all speak using our vocal chords. However, all singers would know you can sing from your head space, throat or chest. It’s where you project your voice from. The lower the region, the greater the timbre and power.

Kinaesthetic are often far more touchy/feely. They relate to physical models rather than abstract pictures.

These people love figuring out how things work and do not need others to tell them. They like taking things apart, experimenting and working physically.

They do things going by their instincts and get “gut feelings” for things around them.

Because they process information through their bodies and feelings, they often appear to take longer to respond. The archetypal farmer, slow talking, considerate in his opinions, measured in his response, down to earth (literally) comes to mind.

But once again, don’t be fooled. Just because someone appears slower doesn’t mean they’re less intelligent. Far from it. And being more in their feelings, they are often far more empathetic as well.

I remember a time years ago when we’d just finished giving a course. I’d asked a participant how he’d found the information. His response…

“I need to digest the information.”

“How long do you need?”, I asked.

“Three days!”

Interesting that he could put an exact figure on it!

While on the topic of speed, here’s something critical to keep in mind.

People process information at the speed they speak at.

Ergo, a visually oriented person speaking fast generally processes information quickly.

However if he’s speaking quickly with a slow speaker, much of what the fast speaker says will simply be missed by the slower processor.

The latter will literally not comprehend as they’ll only pick up a few words in each sentence, dropping the rest.

So it’s critical when speaking to a kinaesthetic person to SLOW DOWN and speak at their rate if you want to be completely understood.

Listening to a kinaesthetic you’ll hear words like:

‘digest’, ‘grapple’, ‘grasp’, ‘solid’, ‘warm, ‘cold’, ‘touch’, ‘feel’, ‘weigh’, ‘firm’, ‘grab’, ‘concrete’ etc.

They also use expressions such as:

  • Do you have a feel for this?
  • I need to weigh this up
  • Does it grab you?
  • Pain in the neck
  • Come to grips with
  • Get a hold of
  • Hands on
  • Firm foundations
  • Keep your shirt on
  • Handle it

When selling to a kinaesthetic type, give them time! They’ll take things at their pace and if you try rushing them, you’ll fail miserably.

Remember, they’re experiential. If possible give them whatever it is you’re selling to play with, take apart and digest in their own way.

Selling cars? Let them have the car for the weekend. Selling software? Give them a free trial. Let them have all the manuals. Let them experiment and use it.

Yes they will take longer to decide. But once the decision is made they’ll stick with it.

Now remember, these are just primary preferences. We all think in visual, auditory and kinaesthetic terms and switch from one to the other.

And as an effective communicator you must be able to switch through every style depending on who you’re dealing with. Your flexibility is the key to your success.

Having said that, this is but scratching the surface. We go into significantly more depth in rapport building language skills, thinking styles and eliciting core values and motivations in our sales coaching programs.

Our programs suit both business to business and business to consumer sales scenarios and are guaranteed to improve your closing rates, making you more money.

Call us on 0414-913-334 to get started.

Rashid & Barbara.

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