How to Communicate Effectively
Today, business communication is vitally important. For example, when a lucrative account is on the line, timely talking can save the day. But on the other hand, if there is no communication at the right time, the party with the most to lose probably will. Unfortunately, small business people usually do not communicate well or on time. So follow these rules to communicate effectively in this fast paced world!
Whenever there is a misunderstanding, always be willing to be the first one to reach out and communicate. Nothing beats a face-to-face or telephone conversation when problems arise. Even if you are not wrong, don't wait to solve any real or potential problems. That's because communication is a very important part of business branding. Remember that good communication does not cost much, but it pays!
In other words, how do you want people to think about your business? If they think contacting you is like walking on eggshells, then they just won't talk to you unless they have to. That's bad for business. Definitely it's not the feeling you want people to have.
You want people to feel comfortable about contacting you with any problem or situation. That's how you gain more and bigger orders. That's how in time, your business can become famous without spending a mint on advertising. So whenever you are communicating, make your twin goals to always be helpful, and a good listener.
Never be too busy to talk to clients or prospects. When you are busy, you must take a message and then return calls promptly. But always remember when you are on a business call, that no one cares about your problems. So keep your conversation focused on the clients or prospects and their problems as much as possible. That's the best way for you to deliver solutions and make money from new business.
Another communication misstep is that many business people think marginal clients or prospects are not worth their time. According to this logic, marginal people must prove themselves worthy by spending money. Otherwise they do not receive the attention they deserve. Of course in reality this is usually just the business owner's ego talking.
Spending time only with well paying customers or important prospects is bad branding. A marginal person's situation may change, or they may know someone who can be a great client for your business. So never brush people off. Always give them your time and attention.
The cost to find a new profitable client is two to three times the cost to turn a known prospect or marginal client into a profitable one. That's because relationships grow over time. However, all businesses have clients and prospects who are huge time wasters. If you find that someone is regularly wasting your time, politely end the conversation and most times no harm will be done.
Whenever you express feelings, or need to talk "off the record", use the phone or communicate face-to-face. Try to use email only when you want a conversation to be "on the record". If you feel like your emails are not getting the right response, then use the phone, or go see the person in order to straighten things out or smooth things over.
Never argue using email. You should always assume that your emails will be shown to third parties. In other words, if you want to say something that could come back to haunt you, do not use email! Alternatively, because email is a permanent record, it's great for compliments and positive responses.
Well received emails are factual and have correctly spelled words. Review all of your emails before you send them. Make sure they are brief and to the point. Think of emails like modern telegrams. They should use as few words as possible. But take the time to make your message clear and correctly spell all words. If you can't spell a big word that you want to use, find a shorter word! Remember that spellcheck does not work in all circumstances.
Timely communication can make or break your business. It is extremely important today because so few people communicate well. But believe it or not, good business communication is not taught in school. Now with the Internet, cell phones, texting, and shorter attention spans, timely business communication is more complicated, and less effective. So if you want to get ahead, follow the basic rules above. Don't hesitate to call-in for help or more information.