Your Communication Style Might Be Negatively Impacting Your Business

In today's digital age, one might assume we live in an era of perfect communication, given the myriad gadgets, websites, and channels we use to stay connected. However, this isn't necessarily the case. Despite the omnipresence of cell phones and instant messaging, many of us haven't become better communicators. Yes, there's an abundance of information, but it often lacks context and perspective. We frequently encounter machine-generated content that fails to meet our needs when we seek quick and straightforward solutions.

Emails are often the go-to for corporate communication. However, no matter how skillfully written, emails can never fully replace the human voice, which remains the most effective medium for communication. Over the past two years, numerous studies across various sales industries—real estate, CPAs, financial experts, insurance professionals, manufacturing, corporate sales, and technology—have identified poor or nonexistent communication as a primary reason clients end business relationships. Common issues include:

  • Failure to communicate sufficiently.

  • Failure to respond promptly.

  • Failure to understand client needs.

Reflecting on pre-Internet times, the monthly statement was a crucial communication tool for advisors, ensuring their engagement with clients and serving as a performance indicator in wealth creation and money management. Advisors were prepared to discuss any changes to clients’ accounts when contacted for reviews.

Today, clients have real-time, online access to data, raising their communication expectations. Despite this, the fundamental lesson remains; being prepared for calls, messages, and emails from clients due to market fluctuations or investment ideas, maintaining consistency, and ensuring open access are essential for effective communication.

The following methods can help you evaluate your communication philosophy and ensure you effectively convey your narrative and solutions to both employees and clients.

Assess Your Office Communication Culture

Evaluate the communication culture within your company. How do you manage communication among your team and with those who manage you? How quickly can you disseminate information to staff members to provide clients with pertinent details?

To establish a strong communication culture, align your team with common values, beliefs, and attitudes towards communication. Even if you are too busy to answer a question immediately or unsure of the answer, prioritize and give utmost attention to communication from your team and clients. How can you expect your staff to foster a great communication culture with clients if you don't within your own organization?

Best Practices for Client Communications

  • Respond Promptly: Always reply quickly to calls, texts, and emails. Have a plan to manage incoming messages. Organizations face significant challenges due to the constant bombardment of messages from various sources and devices.

  • Delegate Responsibly: If you're too busy, assign someone else to respond promptly. Remember, "being busy" is not a valid excuse for delayed responses.

  • Review Correspondence: Before sending any message, review it to ensure clarity, accuracy, and precision. A final review often reveals issues you might not have spotted.

  • Send Follow-Ups: After calls, send follow-up emails summarizing the discussion, assigning responsibilities, and outlining the next steps.

  • Know Your Audience: Understand your audience and their preferred communication methods. Use each client's preferred method while considering their unique message delivery constraints.

Best Practices for Internal Communications

  • Encourage Dialogue: Treat internal communications as dialogues, not statements. Provide staff with means to reply and encourage them to share thoughts and suggestions.

  • Share Achievements: Share business accomplishments and insights to inspire staff to act as brand ambassadors.

  • Inform Internally First: Ensure significant external communications are shared internally first, so staff are aware before clients.

  • Prepare Talking Points: Develop talking points and key messages for complex topics staff may need to address.

  • Support Improvement Efforts: Support staff's efforts to improve communications, even if you disagree with their suggestions. Explain why a proposal may not work but encourage ongoing communication and innovation.

  • Timing Matters: The timing of your communications conveys a lot about you. Emails sent late at night or early in the morning may impact how your staff interprets your message.

  • Highlight Contributions: Use internal communication to highlight staff achievements and contributions, strengthening company culture.

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your communication style, improve client relationships, and foster a more effective and engaging workplace environment.

Related: The Secret To Successful Sales Meetings and Presentations: Leave Nothing to Chance