A lot of us tend to think that we know everything there is to know about effective communication when it comes to handling business clients or even our loved ones. However, the truth is that there is no clear finish line in terms of effective communication.
The process is ever evolving, thanks to newer, more stringent benchmarks set by the ultra-competitive world we live in today. Hence, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few more skills on the way to becoming an effective communicator.
Advantages of effective communication
Why do we need effective communication? What value does it hold in creating and fostering business and personal relationships? Plenty we tell you. Effective communication reduces conflict created by misunderstood information. It helps you get more value for your money as others go out of their way to help you reach your dreams.
It helps you understand the person at the other end of the conversation, thus strengthening business and personal relationships. It helps you communicate your ideas in a clearer manner, making the latter more adaptable in the process. And it helps you gain a good name from everyone around you as they start relating to your needs better. Need we say more?
6 Effective Communication Tips you need to try out
So if you find yourself at loggerheads with finding out the best and most effective ways to become a great communicator, here are 6 tips you can try out.
- Be confident
The first thing anyone would notice about an effective communicator is his confidence. Be confident when you speak, using appropriate body language to support your words. Practice speaking in front of a mirror or in front of a trusted friend before making a speech or presentation in order to brush up on your skills. Make eye contact while communicating and shake hands firmly. Most importantly, don’t forget to relax and smile throughout.
- Be professional
Professionalism counts when communicating with potential clients. Effective communication would be a part of this complete package. Speak competently and listen carefully to the other end of the conversation. Proofread emails before sending them and use a proper signature rather than a squiggly streak. Use a business email for all professional correspondences as well.
- Ask proper questions
A key factor in becoming an effective communicator involves asking the right questions at the right time. Asking questions would enable you to understand your clients better. There is no harm in asking the same question twice as well as long as you get what the client has to say about a particular problem. Only when you understand the client’s requirements properly by asking appropriate questions, would you be able to pitch your services in the best possible manner.
- Minimize distractions
It would be very easy to get distracted in the middle of a client meeting by a television running in the room, a cell phone that keeps buzzing constantly and even a loud neighboring room. Part of communicating effectively lies in getting your points clearly across and vice versa.
This can be done only in a distraction free zone. Switch off any appliances like televisions or radios in the room. Close the door to minimize the noise coming from outside. Request everyone present in the room to switch their mobile phones to silent mode. This would help you focus more on your words and help you understand your client better.
- Follow up in writing
You may have discussed quite a number of points during the meeting. An effective communication tip would then involve following it up with a written message. This message would need to contain the general overview of the discussion, including the questions asked, the points agreed upon, the next steps and the responsibilities of both parties in achieving the same. This brings us to the next effective communication tip, asking for feedback.
- Ask for feedback
Make it a point to ask for feedbacks in between as well as after a discussion or presentation. This would let your clients know that you have set the tone for an open, collaborative discussion and not a closed one. Ask your clients for their inputs on certain procedures or tasks. Get their reviews for services already provided. Respond to their queries and comments in a timely manner. Above all, avoid confrontations should they arise, focusing more on amicable solutions agreed upon by both parties.
Effective communication is considered essential for a business to succeed. These pointers will help you sharpen your communication skills and aid in boosting your business considerably.