How should we communicate in Business?
All of us believe we do it well.
But why do we feel this way?
Because it’s hard to admit as capable, self-confident people, that we ever do anything wrong.
But surprisingly, most really successful people are actually humble enough to continue to learn from everyone they meet and are continuously trying to improve their skill sets.
And communication is a biggie.
There is a proverb that says “Death and life is in the power of the tongue”.
Think about how huge that is.
Your very life often depends on how well you communicate.
Your business depends on it, your relationships, and as the proverb says your very life depends on it.
The wrong type of communication can have a deathly effect on your business and your life.
I will always remember a situation a friend of mine who owned a bar had gone through.
He was a bar owner. His bar was highly successful. He even received awards from the city for contribution to the community , plus his profitability was excellent.
Business was good.
But eventually, his waitresses who were excellent at customer service, and creating a fun and inviting atmosphere were getting older and wanted to be promoted.
So he made them all managers.
But then he had to find new waitresses.
The new waitresses he found were nothing like the older waitresses.
They were rude, disrespectful, and didn’t create an inviting environment for his customers.
As you can probably foresee, his business started to suffer.
Customers started going to other bars that gave a better customer experience.
But what I have give my friend credit for is he recognized relatively quickly the effect just a few new waitresses and their bad business communication was having on his business.
Many business owners do not recognize or do not emphasize the effect that their employees and how they communicate can have on their business.
As a small business owner, your employees are the face of your business, and if they or you do not know how to communicate well, it will be the death of your business.
Differences between Business and Normal Communication
Business communication of course shares similarities with normal communication, as they’re both communication, but there should be some distinct differences.
One, there should be an objective or purpose behind your business communication.
In Normal communication, you can just shoot the breeze, have small talk, talk about the weather, your families, etc…
Business communication often includes all these elements, but they should be used for a purpose, not just to get to know someone.
What’s that purpose? Hmmm, what could it be? How about Business?
As the old sales refrain says ABC, Always Be Closing.
But as a complete business, your business communication should be more than just focused on closing sales, your communication should also be focused on building a genuine business relationship with your customer.
Who are they? What are their needs wants or desires? What are their interests?
These are a few of the things you should be looking for as you engage in your business communication.
Keys to Successful Business Communication
Attitude- Having Enthusiasm in your business is one of the greatest of all acts that you can do.
And yes, I specifically said an act that you do, instead of a way that you feel.
Most of us define enthusiasm subconsciously as a feeling that we may or may not have at any giving moment.
But when we think of it as a feeling, we leave it’s occurrence up to the winds of chance.
One day we feel like being enthusiastic, the other day we may not.
Or our car broke down, maybe we had to trudge through hours of traffic, so therefore we aren’t enthusiastic as we were at the beginning of the day.
The secret to finding enthusiasm is that there are no perfect days.
There are no days that are worthy of your enthusiasm.
Only days that you overcome with your enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is less a feeling, and more an act of conquering over a feeling.
You have to conquer your feelings of tiredness, anxiety, fear, apathy. Etc.
How do you conquer with enthusiasm?
You have to put your Nike’s on and Just Do It.
When you don’t fell like it you must do it.
When you want to go somewhere else, you just got to do it.
When you want to lay in bed you just got to get up and do it.
I know you wanted me to give you advice that coddles you, and makes you feel good, or tell you I can give you the Enthusiasm gene with just 10 easy payments of 49.99.
But I can’t, and I won’t. I can only give you the cold hard truth.
And sometimes the truth doesn’t feel good. As a matter of fact, oftentimes the truth doesn’t feel good.
So get used to it, and start overcoming.
Focus- When you are communicating are you focused on the next thing you get to say?
Or are you focused on what your customer is saying?
Active listening, the act of listening actively, asking questions, etc.. helps boost your customer engagement and experience.
But you have to be very intentional about it because it’s easy to get sidetracked and wrapped up in your own agenda.
So you have to make an extra effort to focus on what your client or customer is saying, because how can you best serve him or her if you do not actually know what they want?
Gratefulness- I know it may be surprising that I have included gratefulness as a key component of business communication, but what is even more surprising to me is that some small business owners and their employees behave and have the attitude like the customer is actually doing them a favor.
You can hear it in their body language, and the tone of voice.
Like they have a subconscious disdain for the customer.
I, whenever I come across this, find this unbelievable, almost unconscionable.
I mean without the customer, the business closes, and the employees all lose their job.
But there seems to be a disconnect with business realities, and how some business owners and their employees communicate with their customers.
And yes, communication is more than just the words you speak, but also your tone of voice and the body language you may use.
Customers can feel when you are just going through the motions when you communicate with them.
Would you want to frequent a business where you are treated as an afterthought?
Your customers don’t either.
Business communication is an art that must be cultivated over time.
But everyone started somewhere.
I hope you do well on yours!