Communication is a key factor when it comes to any type of relationship. In your personal and professional life, communication can be a pedestal to greatness if done correctly. What we communicate and how we communicate with clients is important to optimize the relationship.
Recently, I had a conversation with a qualified prospect on how Tuxedo Impressions LLC could help their business maximize their current time and talent. He shared with me his frustrations with the current service provider he was working with. This business owner wanted someone they knew would be there when they needed them, even if they weren’t physically there. His current service provider, in his words, “isn’t a good communicator”.
My friends, loved ones, and business associates knows me to be big on communicating and how you communicate. While not always perfect in delivery, I aim to be consistent in communication. I ensured that Tuxedo Impressions LLC will work to create a consistent medium of communication tailored to his needs to end his concerns.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help ensure that your communication with clients doesn’t suck.
Is Your Communication Effective?
What forms of communication works well with your clients? Your clients are not the same. You have to be flexible in your style of communication and fluent in each style to adjust to theirs. Do this without sacrificing the effectiveness of the message. If you work remote decide if the best form of communication for a meeting is via phone conference, Google Hangout video call, or screen sharing. This will depend on two things; which way are they most comfortable with and what type of information.
Is Your Communication Consistent?
There is a difference between being “consistent” and being “regular”. Being consistent means unchanging in achievement over a set period of time. Whereas being regular speaks of a pattern. Some people don’t need regular communication, they just want to make sure that you are consistent in delivering effective communication.
Not too long ago, I had a disagreement where an individual misunderstood me wanting “consistent” communication with “regular” communication. It wasn’t the need for frequent short intervals of communication that I wanted. It was the desire for them to be consistent in how they communicate.
Some clients may need communication daily, where another is okay with once a week. There is one client I meet Monday mornings via phone to narrow our scope for the week. I speak with another daily. Adjust to your client’s level of security for communicating.
Is Your Communication Clear, Gracious, and Confident?
We can’t afford to waste time. The moment you get the opportunity to convey a message, maximize it. Whether it’s being given a platform to speak and verbalize your thoughts or an opportunity to pitch a sale to a prospective client, take advantage. You and your clients’ time are valuable. In most cases, billable. When you meet with them or send an email, be clear and concise in what it is you are saying. Avoid having to repeat anything because it wasn’t clear the first time around.
Remember, your clients trust you to be the professional or expert. Don’t be afraid to be confident in your communication. Just be sure to be gracious in being assertive when or if need to be. They will respect you more in the long run.
Avoid putting yourself and your business in a position where how you communicate effects your level of customer service. When in doubt, remember George Bernard Shaw’s quote “The single biggest problem in communication, is the illusion that it has taken place.” When you are communicating with clients, speak with a purpose.