The importance of effective business communication is hard to overestimate. Regardless of the size of your company and the industry it belongs to, you have to work on taking the conversational skills of your employees to the next level, literally. Well, you also have to supply them with the most advantageous environment and best tools you can afford to support their efforts.
It may seem like a pretty challenging task, but fortunately, with the right approach, it is not. The hardest thing is to help people realize that they are not actually so great at communication as they are used to believe. Here you have it: 6 steps to give business communication a new dimension and make it a trump card in reaching your goals.
Step #1: Be Crystal Clear
People often tend to assume that the other side just gets the hint. They leave the conference room pleased with themselves and absolutely sure that they have managed to agree on a long-awaited deal or, for instance, a new strategy to boost the company’s productivity. Well, the reality brings unpleasant surprises – their clients or colleagues have missed some significant details simply because nobody bothered to mention them.
Such mistakes can be especially dangerous in our digital world when more and more people work remotely, so the great bulk of business conversations happen online or by telephone. When writing an email or creating a presentation, always be concrete, concise, and do not assume things – you do not want people to be confused or, even worse, make them think they’ve got the message when they are actually not.
So, from now on, eliminate all assumptions and be crystal clear even when you are pretty sure everybody knows what you are talking about. Do not skip things just because they are “self-explanatory”; it’s always better to be safe than sorry and cover even the slightest details in order to avoid misunderstandings that can cost you dearly.
Step #2: Take Advantage Of The Innovative Solutions
In these days and age, the vast majority of conversations are not going face-to-face but via phone calls, emails, and other popular channels. With a plethora of options available out there, it may be a bit overwhelming to follow every step in the advancement of modern technologies but try to keep track of the latest trends that can be useful for your business. For instance, if you feel that you spend too much on your traditional ISDN telephony provider but do not really get the flexibility you need, switching to SIP Trunking is a great idea. Especially during this pandemic, having open lines of communication has proven to be a critical survival factor for many businesses.
Step #3: Learn To Listen
If you expect your employees, clients, partners, or other people your business relies on to come up with a solution to your problem, you have to give them a chance to have a say. Learn to listen and do not interrupt your interlocutors even if you don’t like what they’re saying. Getting positive feedback is undoubtedly nice, but a negative response might become a real game-changer if used wisely. Of course, you can ask questions – as many as you feel appropriate – but only when you’re sure that the person has finished. Anyway, never rush to conclusions. Set aside enough time to process the information before moving forward with the situation. In the great bulk of cases, nobody expects from you an instant solution, therefore just take your time to offer a well-thought-out pla
Step #4: Respect Is Key
Even though we live in a fast-paced era where quick reaction often means the difference between an inked deal (read revenues) and a gaping hole in the budget you need to patch, make sure not to shorten words and phrases in your business communication. If you want to present your brand in the best light, make sure to sound professional and respectful in all your emails, SMS, or other messages. Needless to say, the same stays true for face-to-face meetings – eye contact and a warm handshake are still the best ways
Step #5: Think Out Of The Box
We all often have a certain plan of the forthcoming conversation in our heads, and if the latter doesn’t go as expected, it can negatively affect our ability to move through the talks. To avoid such situations, be ready to think out of the box and cope with the newly appeared issues and questions. Do not reject a fresh idea simply because you are not prepared to discuss it – there is nothing wrong in admitting that you need more time to think it over. Similarly, if at any point of the discussion, you suddenly realize that your initial project has some shortcomings you failed to notice earlier, share your concerns with others to solve the problem as soon as possible.
Step #6: Back Up Your Words With Figures
It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to persuade your employees to switch to a new marketing strategy or convince a big player to become your client; the best way to do it is to accompany your words with facts and figures. Do not forget to back up your email, presentations, or suggestions with important figures, and do not hesitate to support them with your arguments in the phone and face-to-face conversations. By the way, using concrete data can turn even the most boring document into a great read, hence do not miss this opportunity to draw the attention of your colleagues, partners, or would-be clients with not only informative but also engaging content.
Just as we said at the beginning of this article, the road towards effective business communication able to boost productivity and revenues doesn’t necessarily have to be long and difficult. However, even though taking these six simple steps can improve the situation very quickly, do not rest on the laurels when you see the first results – people never cease to learn the art of communication.