When it comes to communicating in a business sense, it’s far too easy to let your industry expertise cloud the way you talk. As well as being hard to understand for some of the clients you work with, it can also be really off-putting as it will make you appear impersonal and largely corporate.
Successful businesses are built on a solid foundation of healthy and happy relationships, and to build these effectively, you need to communicate effectively. We’ve put some tips together for how you can do just that.
As mentioned above, you’ll need to get the balance right with the way you speak to your clients, so as not to lose them or their interest along the way. You’ll need to come across as professional and as the expert you are, but whilst remaining accessible and approachable. There’s a really useful consultancy glossary here that you could even share with your clients to show them some industry specific terminology, and it’s good to keep in mind the words they may be unfamiliar with.
Keep in touch regularly
As well as communicating effectively on a level that your clients are comfortable with, you’ll also need to ensure you’re checking in with them regularly. This will help gain their trust and to show them that you’re dedicated to them and the project you’re working on together. There are lots of different ways in which you can communicate, from meetings in person to chatting on the phone, to email and even old school snail mail. Things like Skype conferences can be really useful if it’s tough to catch up in person regularly, too.
Don’t be afraid to use informal forms of communication
As well as these more formal forms of communication, it’s a good idea to consider keeping in touch with more informal ways. This can include things like giving your clients your personal mobile number, and ensuring that they can contact you via your mobile in case of any emergencies or pressing issues. A simple text to check in with them now and again can also go a really long way in building a positive relationship with your clients, too.
Be a good listener as well as a good talker
As well as talking and communicating with your clients, it’s absolutely vital that you’re also listening to them properly. The best way to improve your communication with your client is to listen to them and their concerns, so that you can respond effectively and swiftly. As mentioned above, make yourself available to them so that they feel they can come to you with problems, so that you can build a long and lasting successful business relationship. Let them know that you’re ready to respond to their concerns by encouraging them to email you with a list of questions at the beginning, middle and end of a project so that you can get a good feel for their opinion of the progress.