Effective communication is important in any endeavor, but it is especially so in the world of business. No matter what business insights or skills you may have it will never amount to much if you can’t communicate those talents to the marketplace.
Whether you are talking with potential clients, servicing customers, business networking or marketing your product, effective business communication skills will be the key factor determining your success or failure.
4 basic tips for communicating more effectively in a business environment:
Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Shoes
One of the common mistakes business people make in business is not looking beyond their own interests. You may be primarily concerned with making a sale, but what is it that is motivating your customer or client? They have reasons of their own for interacting with you, and having an understanding of what those reasons are gives you an enormously valuable guide to how to best communicate the information that will make the sale. That means asking the right questions so that you find out where your customer is coming from, then you can direct your sales pitch to meeting their needs instead of yours.
The price and quality of a product may be the most important factors in determining whether someone will buy it, but the professionalism of the person selling it is very close behind. The factors determining a business transaction are not all based on pure logic.
Subjective factors are involved as well, such as how the person selling the goods or services looks, how they answer the phone, and the quality of their sales material. These secondary things serve to communicate your level of professionalism, and buyers are more likely to trust and buy from those who effectively communicate a professional demeanor.
Customers like to feel respected, so the businessperson who communicates respect to their customers is likely to be much more successful than one that does not. One of the best ways of communicating respect is through small courtesies. That means always using titles and proper names unless specifically invited to be more intimate.
Show respect for a client’s own time and scheduling needs by giving them a choice of possible times for business meetings or transactions. Send notes or emails before meetings as a reminder and after as a thank you and re-cap of what transpired. These may seem like small matters, but it is the little things that convey through repetition respect for others in your business dealings.
With all the advice out there on how to effectively communicate in business not enough emphasis is put on the importance of doing and saying nothing but just listening. Often the client will make your job easier by telling you key information about how you can sell them your product or service if you will only just shut up and listen.
There is a time to talk and a time to hear what the other guy has to say, so giving them a chance to say it one of the most essential aspects of effective business communication.