Business Communication: Do It Like a Pro
Business communication is one of the most effective tools at your disposal for increasing the value and efficiency of your business. Your success at getting your point across can be the difference between sealing a deal and missing out on a potential opportunity. You should be able to clearly explain your products, services and policies to a wide, varied audience in a way that can answer their questions.
Yet high quality business communication is often elusive. It’s not always just about punctuation, grammar and spelling (although these are crucial), it’s also about being clear and concise.
Business communication is not just about external parties, though. Communication is also important within your business. Effective communication can help to foster a good working relationship between you and your staff, which can in turn improve morale and efficiency.
Why Is Business Communication So Important?
Business communication defines most organizations, resulting in effective marketing campaigns, productive interpersonal relationships among co-workers and successful customer service resolutions. Because audiences demand different kinds of communications in different situations and settings, effective business communication professionals understand how to tailor messages for maximum results.
Are you maximising your communication methods for growth?
The solution in many cases is to overhaul internal communications strategies in order to convince employees of the authenticity, importance, and relevance of their company’s purpose and strategic goals.
This tends to influence strategy, decision-making and behaviors at executive levels, but often isn’t well articulated for employees. What you call it doesn’t matter, your purpose, your why, your core belief, your center. What does matter is that you establish its relevance with employees in a way that makes them care more about the company and about the job they do. It should be at the core of all of your communications, a simple and inspiring message that is easy to relate to and understand.
Take it from the experts: Warren Buffet once told a class of business students that better communication could boost their value by fifty percent.
How Business Communication Improves Your Business
Generate trust rather than distrust. Effective communication requires trust in you, your message and your delivery. People tend to do business with people they trust. Do your employees and customers trust you and your business?
Simplicity beats complexity. Simplicity leads to focus, which produces clarity of purpose. People distrust what they don’t understand, what they perceive as doublespeak, or things made unnecessarily complex. It’s true that communicating simply and clearly is actually much harder than it looks – so you may need some professional help.
Choose language carefully. Some word choices turn people off because they are tasteless, tactless, or pompous. Phrase your communication to avoid biases that might create negative reactions, which are hard to shake. The last thing your business needs is a public relations disaster.
Give your audience solutions. Your customers want to know how you’ll fix their problem. Don’t fall into the trap of listing your products and/or services as if you’re writing a manual. Instead, communicate about how you will make their life easier or give them peace of mind.
Storytelling stirs emotions. Emotion often overrides logic, but logic rarely overrides emotion. If you can tell a story that will influence someone to buy your product or service, the usual roadblocks like expense many not apply.
Treat Email Like Real Mail – Treat your email communications as if they were real letters – not just digital missives.
Edit for Clarity – It’s tempting to just jot down a note and send it without a second thought, but you should always go back and edit for clarity. What you think sounds perfect in your head could be confusing to whoever receives your memo. It can be hard to edit your own work, so having a professional edit may be worth it, especially if you’re investing into marketing materials.
Stay Away from Emoticons, Slang and Colloquialisms – Business communications should be direct and to the point. They should also be written so that anyone can instantly understand what you’re talking about.
There’s Nothing Wrong With a Bit of Repetition – Repetition is based on human psychology. The brain is set up to remember things in a specific order. Items with primacy (the first in a list) and items with recency (the newest items) will always be remembered above anything else.