As you operate your agency or business, to harness success you need to master effective communication. Many people are winging it and leaving a bad impression. Communication is too important to take lightly, because when you fail to communicate properly, you present yourself incorrectly; you are misunderstood. Contrarily, a good communicator is persuasive and even inspirational.
Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership.
The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can't get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn't even matter. — Gilbert Amelio
Gilbert Amelio has a long history of communication success. He has been a leader within some of the largest tech companies. He noted a profound difference in performance between people who could communicate well and those who could not.
Most any business person can think back on a situation where better communication would have brought better results. Those experiences are negative unless they prompt change for the future. This is where you can take control and sprint ahead to win the bid. It's yours for the winning, truly it is.
Let’s go over some communication tips that will help you present yourself properly, which will also help you to be understood. When you succeed at presenting yourself (or your company, your project, your ideas), you succeed in business. You will close more deals and build more business connections.
One thing that will always work against you when speaking is to have something in your mouth. Candy, gum, tobacco—these cause your words to be hard to understand. Straining your audience will detract from your message. This is why you will also want to speak clearly and loud enough for the environment you are in. Don’t yell and don’t whisper; find your perfect balance.
Talking on the phone seems pretty straightforward, right? Actually, no, because there are endless ways to mess things up when it comes to business phone calls. Keeping in mind the speech tips, be aware of your environment and the background sounds being added in with your words. And never start an important business conversation on a cell phone with a bad signal or low battery. Just when you get the conversation rolling… the phone cuts off… time elapses… and you will never get back to where you were.
This may surprise a few, but using a business email is important. You will never convey your skill set using your high school email address of sk8rkid@. Create a professional email address and use it for all of your business correspondence.
Add a signature with your full name, the name of your company, your business address, and your business telephone. Don’t add exaggerated image signatures or logos, or endless awards.
Write your email message as you would a proper letter, not a text message to a pal. Greet the person with a salutation and end with a nice closing, such as thank you or kind regards. Remember, this is business and everything you do and say is used to gauge your ability to perform and represent.
Finally, remember that some professionals get a few hundred emails per day. These people utilize smart organizational techniques. Your email is far more likely to be read if it includes a clear, relevant subject/re: for the message.
You should not assume that your client or a fellow business professional will welcome a text. It’s better to ask when they give you their mobile number. If they accept texts, don’t abuse it. Keep your messages brief and very professional, without cryptic terms or slang. Do not send links or prompt actions that would be better accomplished on a desktop screen. And out of respect for whatever mood or environment they might be in, unless it is an emergency, do not offer up info that is unpleasant.
Social Media Tips
Imagine that your client or business professional is on an outing with their family, laughing and enjoying some personal time… and you hijack the mindset and mood by sending something technical or business related to them. Even if it gets answered and things seem okay, you have altered their personal time and they will remember it when your name comes up. Be social, be happy, be kind, and be relaxed.
Social media is about being social with professionalism. Remember to keep things in context. You should never put delicate or sensitive data on someone’s social media page. And you should refrain from sending it in a private message, too.
And realize that just because someone adds you as a friend on social media, this does not mean they want you to present yourself as their advertising professional or helper behind the scenes. Let them control that aspect and follow their lead. Make them look great at all times; it will pay you back a hundred fold.
Postal Mail Tips
Your letter will represent you, so it should be properly written, following the same tips as email. Letterhead will make you look more stable and professional. Envelopes look cleaner with a printed address, although sometimes an envelope with a hand-written address will be opened faster. If you have a sloppy handwriting, ask someone with a clear, stylish handwriting to write everything out for you.
Person to Person Tips
When you have a person-to-person meeting, you have achieved something really great, and really important, too. You must make the most of it. A few things to keep in mind would be that everyone is different, so carefully assess every person and be ready to adapt.
You should always be gracious, caring and sincere. Another thing to remember is that people are more relaxed when you show respect for their personal space; for Americans, a good estimate is three feet. This is especially important when working with the opposite sex. Meetings will go more smoothly when you adhere to this.
You should stand up straight and hand your business card over during the greeting, along with stating a very precise and rehearsed sentence with your full name, title and company. Do not ramble on, make jokes, ask questions, or inject non-critical information during the greeting. Once this is done, give them a chance to speak while you hush up and listen. Give them the control and follow their cues.
Be concerned for them and keep track of time. If you have thirty minutes of important information to go over, spending fifteen minutes chatting will spoil your interaction purpose. Always remember the interaction purpose. Ordering a pizza? There is an interaction purpose that must be met. Buying a car? There is an interaction purpose that must be achieved for success. Closing an important business deal with a client? Again, there is an absolute interaction purpose that you need to complete to make this person-to-person communication successful for you and them.
Remember that communication is a two-way action. You have to train yourself to be a great listener, a great receiver of information, before you can be a great communicator.
Rewind the clock back to grade school when manners were so pressed upon us, since being a great communicator absolutely requires having great manners.
Practice these good communication tips and soon they will become second nature. They will help you take control of any situation and master your environment with courtesy and professionalism.
Best wishes on your unique journey,
J. Clemens, Panama City Beach, FL -- I am a Google AdWords, Analytics and Mobile Sites Certified Individual serving businesses throughout the United States. My agency, Mica Specialties, is a Google Partner and technology consultancy involved in all aspects of marketing, web development, computer design, and IT services. Mica Specialties was founded in 1992 with deep roots in product design. I am an avid fan of Alphabet (and their products) and enjoy learning while helping others.
You must be a registered user to add a comment. If you've already registered, sign in. Otherwise, register and sign in.