Tag Archives: effective business communication

What’s Next in Communication?

Effective business communication is a critical component of success, whether selling, managing, marketing or just trying to get along with others.

While there are obviously many facets of communication, there is one simple habit that, if well developed and consistently executed, will improve your business communication and success level significantly.

When asked to identify this habit, most people think it involves the conveyance of one’s message – either a smooth or powerful delivery, or a pleasant voice tone. Others suggest that the best communicators are good listeners, and some opine that the art of asking good questions is the key.

These are all very important elements of good communication, but none of these represents the habit to which we refer. The critical skill we have in mind is the one that helps you make things happen. It is the habit that brings about action! And, as promised, it is simple…

message_in_the_sand_18916It is the practice of specifically identifying and scheduling the next steps that are consequential to your communication — consequential to your discussions, your meetings, your teleconferences, your interviews, your sales calls, and so on — and doing so while the details of those interactions are fresh-in-the-minds of all parties.

If this seems too simplistic, please think again. Consider the fact that all business communication, regardless of its form, must be purposeful. We conduct meetings to share information on which people must act. We make sales calls so that people will buy. We run training sessions to help people perform better. We go on interviews with hopes of being hired; we conduct interviews with hopes of hiring. Each form of business communication has a purpose, and that purpose involves action.

So, for example, at the end of each sales call, what can we do to make something specific happen… the next step in the process? What can we say at the end of each staff meeting to make sure everyone is on-board with the conclusions drawn and that each participant is clear on his or her role in implementing agreed-upon solutions or processes? After meeting a new prospect at a networking event, is there a way to end our conversation that will result in a meaningful future discussion about a business relationship?

The answers to all of these questions may vary in content, but in principle they’re all the same – we must identify and then arrange the next steps, and we must do so definitively.

For instance, after meeting a good prospect at a trade show, it is far better to arrange a specific follow-up plan such as, “I’ll call you Monday at 3pm,” rather than a vague plan such as, “I’ll call you next week!”

“It has been nice meeting with you today, Ms. Buyer. Based on the information you’ve shared, I’ll put together a formal proposal for outfitting your facility with widgets. Can we schedule a brief meeting to review the proposal’s details? How about next Wednesday or Thursday…?”

“OK sales team, our goals for the upcoming week are clear. Along with our regular sales calls, each of us will make twenty-five additional courtesy calls to current customers because we’ve all agreed that retention levels must be improved. These calls will be documented in the newly-created section of our CRM program, and we’ll get together on Wednesday at 4pm to discuss progress – any questions?”

 

 

The Next Step in Communication?

nextstepContinuing with the theme of effective business communication, most people agree communication is a critical component of success, whether selling, managing, marketing or just trying to get along with others.

One Simple Little Habit…
While there are obviously many facets of communication, there is one simple habit that, if well developed and consistently executed, will improve your business communication and success level in a BIG way!

It is the practice of specifically identifying and scheduling the next steps that are consequential to your communication – consequential to your discussions, your meetings, your teleconferences, your interviews, your sales calls, and so on.

If this seems too simplistic, please read on…

How to Run the Best Teleconferences

Even the most accomplished “live” presenters, trainers, and facilitators must make strategic modifications to their communication style if they are to maximize the virtual or on-line experience.

You might find this concisely-written e-book of help, as it identifies key areas on which to focus, and will help you develop new perspectives on running and participating in teleconferences, virtual meetings, or Webinars.

Designed as an easy read – covering all the essentials:

  • Preparation nuances
  • Process protocols
  • Productivity boosters

More info on our web site… | Comment…

Interactive Presentations: Engaging Your Audience

A few people have asked about the best way to make their presentations more interactive, as our previous post suggested 15%-20% of a selling presentation should involve asking questions.


A good first step is to craft questions in advance as part of our preparation regimen. 

Most of us tend to write down our “speaking points” before making a presentation (if we prepare at all!), but fewer of us give much pre-thought to the questions we might ask.  

When doing so, you might find the following article helpful: “5 Keys to a Good Question.” 

Once you’ve made the effort to identify good questions, be sure to use them!  This requires a belief in the value of including questions in what most people consider a “speaking” activity.  

To help solidify our faith, we might consider the fact that the average person can listen and think at a rate that far exceeds the average rate-of-speech. Therefore, if we drone on and on during our presentations without engaging our audience, this disparity can cause their minds to wander.  If, on the other hand, we mix in some thought-provoking questions (both direct and rhetorical) our audience will find the presentation much more interesting! 

It’s also a good idea to avoid the pitfall of making our presentation lop-sided with features. As noted in a prior post, too many sales presentations are “all about us,” when they really should be about “what the audience gets!”

As a final thought for enhancing interactivity, if we’re using some type of visual support such as Power Point, we should include a few thought-provoking images. 

You might review a recent newsletter, which contains an article about making our “customers and clients the “stars” of our presentations, and also shares some interesting perspective on how the use of “visual cognitive dissonance” (the above-mentioned images) can significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of our presentations.