Being able to communicate with clients effectively has never been so important, particularly when there is so much uncertainty at the moment. People are worried about their bills, about spending money in the current economic climate…
It’s more vital than ever to ensure that your communications with your clients and prospects go beyond simply sending an invoice.
With this in mind, I want to share with you my top 5 skills for effective business communication.
There is a huge difference between listening to respond and listening to understand. To become an effective listener, and therefore an effective communicator, you must be able to listen to understand. It seems simple but very often, especially in business interactions, you can enter a conversation with an agenda that differs from the other person. This doesn’t usually make for effective communication.
To become a more active listener, try these out:
Nothing destroys communication quite like stubbornness. If you’re not entering business interactions with the aim of agreeing or negotiating then it’s unlikely you’re forging the kind of close business ties you’re aiming for. One way to demonstrate your desire for consensus is to practice active listening as outlined above. You’re unlikely to be able to reach agreements if you’re not listening or being listened to effectively.
Once you’ve got a sense of where your client or prospect is in their head, you can ask questions more respectfully and openly, challenging their position without them getting defensive. This is the basis for reaching agreements.
It may sound obvious but being able to articulate your thoughts and ideas, both verbally and in writing, is a crucial part of your communication toolkit. When reaching out to clients during a difficult time like this, or even when you’re just in everyday conversation with them, you must have a good grasp of the language you need to use in order to make them feel valued, heard or important.
If you cannot articulate your position or make them feel heard, you will struggle to communicate effectively. So, if you’re in a rut, brush up on your English!
Similarly to using the right language, your goal when communicating with clients is always to make them feel heard. By being empathetic to their thoughts and feelings (by this I mean genuinely striving to understand them, not feigning an ‘I’m here for you’ attitude while failing to follow through with practical help) you’re providing a space in which they’re more likely to open up about their problems and, therefore, enable you to provide solutions. Empathy is a greatly underrated skill in the business world but makes for vastly improved communication.
Anyone who follows me regularly will know that I advocate a sales approach that places problem-solving front and foremost. Therefore, in order to be able to communicate your offering to clients and prospects, you must be proficient in solving problems.
This ties into all of the above points because if you do not listen effectively, strive to reach a consensus or show empathy, you’re unable to truly uncover their pain points and offer solutions. At the end of the day, you need to leave your customers feeling valued and supported, but you also need to make sales. Taking a problem-solving approach is the final step to achieving that.
I hope you’ve found today’s blog interesting and informative. As always, if you’d like to follow up on any of the points or ask any questions, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day!