Communication is the core of all business, which is why everyone involved in business should study it carefully. Author Dr. John Lund, an expert in interpersonal communication research observes,
“Don’t communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so as not to be misunderstood.” [Source]
If you want to avoid misunderstandings while communicating with clients, you need to follow some common norms of communication. This can only happen when you understand your client well before starting any decisive meeting. Once you hone your client communication skills, you can easily win their confidence, strengthen relationships, and expect better results.
Here are 5 strategies that will help you enhance communication with your clients.
Offer Communication Options
Allow yourself to be flexible to meet clients’ needs by offering several ways to communicate. Not all clients like to talk on the phone or correspond through email, so find out what works best for them.
Acknowledge Client Needs
Lund explained at a recent seminar that the three things business-minded people want to know before they begin a conversation with you is:
a) Whether Your Subject Matter is Painful
b) The Length of Time It Will Take to Explain
c) What You Want out of the Conversation
Unless business professionals know the answers to these questions upfront, they will likely find excuses to avoid your phone calls or speaking with you in person. Many times the reason a client will drop a business partner is due to lack of communication.
Use a Calendar for Scheduling
Always keep in mind that anyone involved in a business is on a tight schedule. One way to maximize your client communication skills is to open a phone conversation with something like “I know you’re busy and your time is valuable, so please allow me a few minutes of your time to schedule a short conversation with you.”
Practice Nonverbal Skills
Dr. Lund says facial expressions, body language, vocal tone and choice of words all factor into people’s interpretation of a message. By practicing with a small mirror, you can become more aware of how you present yourself beyond words.
Get Feedback and Offer Custom Solutions
If you are trying to gain or retain clients, never make assumptions about their needs. It’s better to ask questions and listen, then give them appropriate feedback. You will have a better chance of impressing them by showing that you understand their goals and can expand on them with unique out-of-the-box ideas.
Keep practicing the above mentioned tips to get better and better at client communications, but don’t stick to it. Keep finding what works best for your company without annoying your customers at all. Remember, you can strengthen the foundation of your company only when your customers are happy.