Business Success Requires Good Communication
Good communication skills are an important part of living a successful life but they are vital for business success. This article illustrates why good communication is a must.
Communicating with Others
Communicating with co-workers, independent contractors and vendors is completely different from communicating with consumers.
- Your co-workers usually have a similar skill set and fundamental understanding of your business and what you do within the business so you can often use technical language or slang that they understand.
- Independent contractors you work with may or may not understand every part of the business so the language used must be precise and on a level they and both understand and comprehend. Once they ‘get it’ you can teach them the slang and more advanced terminology used with co-workers.
- Vendors may only understand a small portion of your business so communication with this group will usually be limited to the products or services they provide. If you try to expand your conversation to other aspects of your business, you MAY receive a blank look or a look of utter confusion.
Your customers may present the biggest communication challenge you face on a regular basis.
A customer usually has some knowledge about your business and the products or services you offer but their interpretation of the expected results may be vastly different from the reality that exists.
Your customer may or may not:
- understand exactly what your product or services does and how it will benefit their business. (Even when they think they do.)
- understand what you are telling them what you can and will do for them even when given a detailed explanation in writing.
- see how your product or service might be able to help their business because they may not even know or understand what they need.
To build a successful business relationship with your customer, you need to get them to tell you what they think they need, document it and parrot it back to them. What they tell you MIGHT give you the clues you need to help them achieve their goals using your product or service.
You may also find that what they REALLY want and need has nothing to do with your product or service because they have no solid marketing plan or idea on what they really need or want.
If this happens, you can either choose to continue to work with the client by altering the service you provide or you cut your ties.
Sometimes your best attempts at communicating with a client will end with no real connection. There can be many reasons this can and does happen but I’ve found that the client’s lack of a business or marketing plan and your inability to connect with them well enough to understand their expectations have nothing to do with you or your business. Gender bias can also be a wall to good communication.
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