Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Secret Of Effective Business Communication

Effective communication is one of the key factors in a successful business. If you cannot effectively promote your business to your clients, how will you keep your business growing?

As an entrepreneur, your business depends on your ability to sell your product or services. You need to be able to convince prospects that your product is the right one for them and that you are the best person to do business with.

Promoting your business involves both verbal and written communication. You must be able to do both well in order to be successful. Fortunately, there are a few rules for each that will help you become a better communicator.

1.  Be clear and concise.  In business, it is critical to be able to communicate your ideas quickly and clearly.  You may have the most brilliant idea, one-of-a kind service, or valuable product on the market today, but if you cannot make me understand that, your idea, service, or product is useless.

2.  Proper pronunciation, grammar, spelling, and punctuation are vital.  There are many books and classes available that teach these basics.  I don't have a particular favorite.  At the risk of betraying my age, I went to school when grammar, punctuation, and penmanship were still taught in elementary school.  I have seen several books on these subjects at the local Barnes & Noble, however, and most of them seemed likely to be effective.  If someone has a resource to recommend, please feel free to post it in the comments.

3.  Improve your vocabulary.  You don't need to memorize the dictionary.  But you do need to have a large enough vocabulary to always have the right word at your disposal.  When I was 13, my grandmother gave me a subscription to Reader's Digest for my birthday.  Believe it or not, I was thrilled.  This magazine held a wealth of treasures for me, including a feature called "It Pays to Increase Your Word Power."  Each issue came with 20 words, their definitions, and an example of their usage in a sentence.  It was an easy way to increase my vocabulary by 20 words each month.

4.  Be consistent.   Once you have perfected your message, make sure you tell it consistently in your e-mails, on your website, in print materials, on social media, and in any advertising and marketing.
Nothing is more confusing to prospects than hearing differing messages from the same business. They don't know which to believe.  Be sure your clients know who you are and what you stand for with every interaction. 

5.  Learn to listen.  Good listening is a skill.  Concentrate on the speaker's message and keep an open mind to others' ideas.  Indicate you understand what the speaker said by repeating/rephrasing key points: "Let me be sure I understand correctly. What you are saying is...."

So what is the "secret" to effective communication in business?  Where do you go to learn to put all of the basic skills together into an effective package?  The same place I did - Felicia Slattery.  Felicia is a communication consultant, speaker, and coach specializing in training busy professionals to succeed by communicating effectively with clients and prospects.  You've seen her mentioned in many of my blog posts as one of the people whose opinions and input I value and trust.  If you really want to learn how to get your message across, she is the one person who can help you. 

Learn to speak and write clearly and concisely.  Practice the skills necessary to communicate with ease and confidence.  Who knows what might happen?


Debra Jason said...

I teach the KISS principle - keep it simple sweetheart. Short sentences, paragraphs, simple words and bullet points.
If it's a written communication, you want it to be inviting to the reader's eyes.

Melodieann Whiteley said...

Good tip, Debra. I was taught KISS also. Only we didn't say "sweetheart." LOL! But you are correct. Short and simple does it every time!

Larry said...

Great stuff, Meloidanne! Whenever we communicate it's a good idea to see it from the perspective of the other person. If I were saying this, would it make sense to me?