This month, I’m focusing on ‘embracing the essentials’ – the core elements needed to help you make a sale. Whether you are selling yourself or a product or service, getting back to the basics is important because we tend to let some things slide over time. Just one of those essential elements is communication. I had a mentor once who said, “It’s rarely WHAT we say but HOW we say it.” That bit of wisdom stands true in the workplace and in our personal lives. We need this stitched on a pillow!

HOW you communicate is a sales tactic! Remember that 5-year-old who knew what they wanted and was not afraid to throw a temper tantrum to get it? While I am not suggesting you throw a temper tantrum in the middle of a meeting, it is an effective way to communicate. Because the kid is SELLING their desires and wants and needs. Sales is a life skill, not just a business skill, and communication is the way to make a sale.

So, let me ask: How often have you really thought about how your communication style sets the tone for future sales as well as your own personal brand? How you communicate has an impact on your message and how readily you get what you want. And the way you communicate also shows your respect for someone else’s time, priorities and preferred communication.

Knowing your audience

Ask anyone on my team – I am renowned for my drawings. Not because they are good but because they are, well, downright awful. Let’s just say I will never quit my day job to become an artist. They are so bad that it is an inside joke around here. Sometimes, though, the only way I can get an idea across to, say, my graphic designer is to draw it. (And a special shout out to her for laughing only moderately loudly when I follow up with a call). But hey, drawing is a form of communication, and believe it or not, it’s actually part of my personal brand: Communicating with visuals when words are failing to make the sale. It cuts through the clear-as-mud ideas in some instances. Plus, I know it gives her a good laugh during the busy week!

Another team member is an introvert, and calls are a last resort with him. I get it. I don’t just spring a phone call on him, I text first to ask the best time for a 5-minute chat to clarify something. It’s all about knowing my audience, knowing exactly what I want to communicate, and respecting others’ time and boundaries. I want to sell my team on mutual respect, personal boundaries and working efficiently.


Because communication is such a critical part of every day, every relationship, every interaction and transaction, getting it right is important. It’s also an important piece of your personal brand. It shows others who you are, what your priorities are and how prepared you are.

My personal brand is concise and right to the point. It’s also important to me to respect the timing of my messages. Unlike email, texts might intrude upon someone’s personal time. And because I work all over the country, I keep in mind the recipient’s time zone and my expectations of when to expect a reply. (I’ve been known to tell my team to stop replying and go to bed!)

Hands down, calling someone carries with it an air of immediacy and authenticity that can’t be matched. Even Zoom can’t quite capture the same message as a good old-fashioned phone call. A personal touch is indispensable to your personal brand – it not only helps break down complex ideas or projects but also fosters connection.

I have a rule of thumb for emails: If it’s more than two sentences, I call. Even in this day and age where technology reigns supreme, communicating without wasting someone else’s time is an art form. A phone call will always make the sale faster than a million back-and-forth emails!

But it all starts with a plan

Communicating effectively requires a PLAN. Texting is an art that combines brevity with clarity; it is where you “trim the fat,” not compose your next novella. And remember not to interpret too much into being on ‘Read.’ People have lives and responsibilities you can’t even begin to imagine. Remember, the “sale” of getting your message across is just as important as actually getting a signature on the dotted line. After all, no one buys from someone they don’t trust or feel connected to.

When I take my clients through one of the most important parts of the sales process and the prospective client conversation, we spend a lot of time just learning what I call the T.A.L.K. Model. Each letter stands for a checklist of sorts of how to talk to your client like a human and not a giant price tag. It’s that important. It’s about planning, preparation, clarity, understanding, tone, and so much more. It’s about having a purposeful dialogue, keeping it focused, and showing I value their time.

Part of this methodology is also how to actively listen. You want your personal brand to show that you care, that you’re present, and that your goal is to come to an understanding that’s a win-win.

Powerful impressions

You are selling yourself in every form of communication (or lack thereof). Your personal brand is more than a snappy tagline; it’s how you’re perceived in your sphere of influence. When your communication style and personal brand are in sync, the result is a powerful impression. For example, I had a friend who never responded to RSVP for dinner parties and then would show up and say, “But you knew I would be here.” It made it hard to plan activities or meals around. Part of his brand turned out to be ‘inconsiderate,’ which was not what he was trying to sell.

Evaluate the legacy you’re leaving

Check your communication for these things:

  • Consistency: Maintain a consistent tone across your communication channels. Be the same person you are online and in person. Don’t bait and switch your audience! For example, my personal brand is the same whether I meet you face-to-face, you follow me on Twitter or listen to a podcast I’m on.
  • Timeliness: Let people know you’ve heard them! It shows mutual respect for someone’s time and needs. One of my rules for my personal communication brand is to respond promptly to messages – even if it’s just to acknowledge that I got your message and will follow up soon.
  • Efficiency: A concise, well-structured email or call not only saves time but shows clients you appreciate their time by planning for your conversation with them. Don’t ask them to repeat something they’ve already said because you’ve failed to do your homework. It’s another way to show respect.
  • Authenticity: Your personal brand should reflect your values, including respect for others’ time, creating a genuine and lasting impression. This goes hand in hand with consistency.
  • Adaptability: Recognize that different situations call for different communication styles, demonstrating your flexibility and, perhaps most importantly, your empathy.

So much of our ‘sales’ – both at work and at home are made or broken by our communication. Selling your message is just the first step in landing the sale – whether it’s a project at work or getting volunteers for the school bake sale. By creating a consistent personal brand that echoes your values and making sure your communication styles align, you’re not only building a successful brand but also fostering meaningful and productive relationships.

Remember, in the world of busyness, your approach to communication can make all the difference.