Effective communication is a critical element in any business. It is essential to building strong relationships with customers, vendors, and employees – and to improve sales and revenue!
You might be familiar with the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
Imagine, for a second, speaking to an Wellington person in the same way you’d speak to someone from Auckland or Sydney. You’ll likely get unexpected results because one size doesn’t fit all.
You might need to get familiar with the Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would have you do unto them. You need to know how they’d like to communicate to get that right.
Your ability to change your approach and your strategy depending on the situation or person you are dealing with defines your adaptability. So, how strong is:
- Your ability to talk to make it easier for people to listen?
- Your ability to sell people the way they are comfortable buying?
- Your ability to lead in ways they are internally motivated to want to follow?
One of the most crucial aspects of communication for an SME business is customer communication.
It is a two-way street, and it is essential to communicate clearly, promptly, and empathetically. Imagine yourself as the customer: If you have an issue or a question, getting a quick and efficient response can improve your experience and increase the chances of repeat business.
Just as crucial to success is internal communication. Effective internal communication ensures that employees are on the same page and working towards the same goals.
But not all communication is equal, just as not all employees and customers are equal, so a tailored approach to how you engage becomes even more important. If your team truly is your biggest asset, don’t you think it is worth investing time, effort and money to make sure you are being the best communicator you can be?
One effective way to improve internal communication is to hold regular meetings. Meetings are a great opportunity to discuss business goals, strategies, and challenges. They also provide a forum for employees to share their ideas and feedback, which can help improve business operations. Perhaps most critically, they don’t need to be “bigger than Ben Hur”.
A short, 15-20 minute catch-up is way more effective in many cases than a half-day death-by-report meeting.
And here’s the thing I hear so many business owners saying … it’s too hard! Or, I don’t have the time? Or, we are too busy? That makes no sense at all. Too busy to get your team goals set? Not enough time to meet your site supervisor?
If you are in that boat, you need to hear this: There are tools you can access to make your communication heaps better. By practising the Platinum Rule, people will not tell you how to treat them or how to adapt; they will show you. Open your eyes and ears and listen to what people say and how they say it.
One of the best and simplest tools to improve your communication (internally and externally, written, spoken and social media) is DISC. By understanding your style and the preferences of the other person, you can adjust to match a customer’s buying style and team members’ listening style. Imagine adding 15-20 percent to your sales and having your teams actually do what you need them to do … what could do that for you?
Everyone speaks, but very few communicate. Go ahead, be exceptional. Decide to communicate like a legend. By doing do, you’ll move the dial on your business and on your life!
You’ve got this!