Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Anne Bachrach (USA)
Entrepreneurs don’t have it easy. Not only do they have to oversee their own performance, but handle employees and clients as well. Sometimes, the focus can shift from their professional aspirations to personal troubles, hence distracting them from their main task. This often happens when the communication to either employees or clients is not effective. So, what is effective communication? Simply, communication which enables you to get the results you are looking for is effective.
The Communication Misconception
There is a common misconception regarding communication. Communication does not simply mean that you have to speak to the employees and clients/prospects. Communication is a two-way process that is not complete unless you are willing to listen to what they have to say. As they say, a person has one mouth, but a pair of ears, hence you should listen twice as much as you speak. The first thing you need to do to get the desired results is to open your ears to both employees and clients/prospects.
You will notice what a difference it makes to the outcome you were expecting. The clients are certain that their complaints and queries are being handled in the best way possible. Also, the employees are satisfied working for you as you are lending an ear to their issues and concerns as well. When running a business, it is important that you take interest in what the people working for you, think about and the issues and concerns they are facing. Only then can you communicate effectively.
Let’s first look at how you can effectively communicate with your employees. Employees are the lifeblood of any business. Without them, it is impossible to get any work done. They recognise their worth and you should too. Of course, you have to maintain a certain discipline being an entrepreneur, but that does not mean you should refrain from praising your employees or offering them a word of guidance when they need it.
Here are ten effective ways you can use to create effective communication with your employees.
- Create an Open Culture
You have to create a work culture where the employees are welcome to come to you anytime they want. Keep an open door policy so they don’t feel hesitant about asking you for help, guidance, or advice. After all, you are the person in charge and there is no one else they can turn to in times of need. You have to make yourself available to them. At the same time, make sure they don’t come knocking for every trivial issue at any time. Set certain boundaries for when is the best time you can be approached.
- Use Body Language
What you say is important, but your body language can help drive the message home. Sometimes, you need to be stern with employees and if the work environment is too casual, you would have a hard time communicating the message you want. This is why it is important to learn about specific mannerisms and gestures you can use in any given situation. You can probably find this information in a short Youtube video, as it seems that you can find almost anything on a Youtube video these days.
- Ask for Feedback
For any new decision regarding the workplace or business, ask for feedback from your employees. And don’t just do it as an act of courtesy. Make sure the employees’ feedback is taken into consideration when you are taking the final decision. That way, you can encourage employees to speak up if they have any valuable ideas or information which can come in handy for the development of the business. In most cases, employees are more than happy to be subservient and keep to themselves so encourage feedback, suggestions, and ideas.
- Criticise and Accept Criticism
Perhaps the most important effective communication technique you can use with your employees is learning how to criticise. The best way to go about doing it is accepting criticism which comes your way. Only then should you criticise an employee. Entrepreneurs who refrain from offering genuine critiques of their employees’ performances are likely to create a work culture which is not productive and does not produce results. Performance reviews are good places to offer suggestions for improvement as it is then documented.
The bottom-line is that you should not hold back from praising or criticising your employees. At the same time, let them speak up and listen to what they have to say. It will do wonders for the work environment and enable you to get the results you are looking for.
- Convincing Clients
The difference between communicating with your employees and your clients is that you may have to convince the clients/prospects and you motivate the employees. The fundamental message is the same: you want to get them to do something. However, the methods have to be different as the reasons why they should listen to you differ as well. Prospects and clients can take their business elsewhere if you are not succinct and direct, and in a way that is all about the benefits to them.
- Have a You-Attitude
Any and every communication you have with your clients should be with a You-attitude. Instead of focusing on how great your business is and the high quality and great prices you offer, speak of how the client can benefit from using your products/services. Clients love it when businesses empathise with them as it shows that an entrepreneur is showing genuine interest in their needs and not just trying to sell their products/services.
- Be Consistent
Regardless of the outcome of your marketing campaign, stay consistent with your communication. If you say one thing and when it fails, change your stance, the clients will identify it and refrain from listening to you ever again. With substitutes easily available to them, they don’t need to stick to a specific brand for a long time. Hence, don’t think that the clients are going to buy from you and you only. You have to continue to earn the business. Consistently walk your talk. When you don’t, people will notice and that will hurt your business.
- Don’t Lie
Whatever happens, tell the truth. This is one thing you have to keep at the forefront of your marketing campaign. There are many businesses out there which are advertising services they don’t really offer. The reason why they are doing it is to get as many clients as possible. Your focus should be on communicating what you have to offer to the clients instead of convincing them to buy your products. Let them make that decision for themselves. People respect the truth. They may not always like it or agree with you but telling the truth can help attract more clients to you.
- Listen to Them
Like employees, the clients need to be heard as well. Provide communication channels, including phone lines, email, social networks, etc., so they can ask questions or make complaints they have regarding your products/services. Most of the time, the businesses drive away clients by leaving their messages unheard. Client support is a key component of business success nowadays and make sure you place the proper emphasis on it so your clients/prospects feel heard.
- Focus on Quality Content
Last, but not the least, make sure the content of your messages is valuable to the clients/prospects. There is no need for them to hear about the arduous process which goes into making your product or providing your service. What they want to hear is how it works and what it can do for them to make their life easier and better. Create a sharp, concise and clear message which highlights all that is good about the benefits (the value) they receive when they work with your firm. When you do that, there is no way clients would resist.
Communicating effectively with your clients is important to convince them to buy your products and services. If you want your bottom-line to improve and take your business to the next level, work on the way you communicate with the clients/prospects.
You should never underestimate the importance of effective communication. There is hardly any entrepreneur out there who isn’t skilled at communicating well with employees and clients; however, we all can improve to be even better. Review the above tips and pick one or two to apply so you can be an even more effective communicator and increase your business success. It isn’t rocket science and a little effort will enable you to get the results you are looking for. Think of it as a giant step you take towards the growth and success of your business which is your ultimate aim.
About Anne Bachrach
Anne Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has over 23 years of experience training and coaching. Business owners and entrepreneurs who utilise Anne’s proven systems and processes work less, make more money, and have a more balanced and successful life. Anne is the author of the books, Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule!, and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives, and The Work Life Balance Emergency Kit.
Go to http://www.accountabilitycoach.com/Achieve.Your.Goals.Free.Gifts.Now/ and get 3 FREE gifts including a special report on 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organised, and Achieving Your Goals Now. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life (https://www.accountabilitycoach.com/coaching-store/inner-circle-store/).
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