Many people don’t realize the importance of business communication skills. In fact, business communication is too much relevant if you’re a businessman.
As per a survey conducted by the Project Management Institute, every third business fails to serve its target audience due to the poor communication process.
You must behave and talk to your clients in a professional manner so that you do leave a positive impression on them.
To your surprise, you will notice how significant results your business achieves. Also, you will see if your business wins the confidence of your clientele. Your communication skills and your client behavior certainly place you on top of the competition.
How to Improve Business Communication Skills?
Wish to wow your clientele? Have some spare time and critically scrutinize your business communication skills.
The following are 11 actionable tips to improve your business communication skills today:
1. Work on Your Nonverbal Communication Skills
Business organizations must have excellent nonverbal communication skills in addition to verbal. In fact, a recent study unveiled that nonverbal comm skills account for over 55% of how audiences perceive a presenter.
This also means that what you say is more communicated through your physical cues than your words. And, to communicate in a clear and confident manner, presenters must adopt proper posture.
Try to avoid folding your hands during a presentation and make eye contact with your audience, which makes you look bigger than you are. Move around the space you are given and feel confident about yourself.
2. Stop Relying on Visual Aids
The great Steve Jobs happened to institute a rule at Apple Inc. that prohibited all PowerPoint presentations.
The same rule was incorporated and applied by Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook Inc. because they realized that visual aids hinder more than they help communication.
You should rather use words, emails, and other nonverbal communication means to communicate with your audience. This will help them listen to what you have to say and better understand and if required, ask questions too.
3. Ask for Honest Feedback
If you see yourself as a true leader, then do seek or ask for honest feedback from your managers, peers, and other teammates, as it’s key to becoming with better communication skills.
Regular and honest feedback sessions help you discover and concentrate on some areas of improvement that might have been overlooking.
At the same time, you must take feedback positively, as it will only help you improve where you need to.
4. Implement the PIP Approach
Great business experts implement the PIP (Purpose, Importance, and Preview) approach whenever they present the introduction to something.
In this approach, you first need to let your audience know the purpose of your presentation followed by the reasons why the presentation is important by including the implications and potential outcomes.
Further, you need to give a preview of the topic you are going to present and discuss on. This is a great way to excite your audience about the discussion, which makes them stay focused during the presentation.
5. Treat Business Mails Like Real Communication Means
It’s not a big deal when you deliberately skimp on a text message received or when sending a list of groceries to your spouse, but business emails from your current or potential clients are the key to real corporate communication.
In fact, make sure to treat each business email you receive as if they are real letters sent to you and not just digital messages that you don’t care about.
6. Never Skip the Subject Line
The subject line of your email is not only aimed at introducing your message to the recipient, but also keeping your mail out of the spam folder.
In fact, the subject line of your email gives your introduction to the recipient, so it must be well-written to ensure that the other person does not mark it as spam.
Therefore, make sure to use this field to properly introduce yourself and in good faith.
7. Send Over Blazing-fast Responses
In order to ensure that your clientele has an exceptional experience with you – don’t forget to include small business owners – your business communication skills can literally trump your other business and customer services.
A successful business owner understands that there is no traditional business shift like 9 to 5. Hence, your response to your customer queries should not be confined to this hour limit, in case you really want to fulfill the needs of your customers.
Being an entrepreneur, you might be really busy and meet everyone in person or even unavailable to take every single call.
However, you cannot excuse your responsibilities towards your passion. You can simply reply to questions and let your customers/clients know that they will get desired response(s) at the earliest.
This can surely help you stand out in the competitive market. And, this will also make your clients experience that you have to potential go an extra mile.
Good email writing is always appreciated and many businessmen struggle to write simple emails and they often end up over or under-explaining themselves. This further leads to confusion and the reader gets frustrated.
Therefore, make sure to deliver clear and concise response(s) to your clients to make the communication process easier. You can always employ someone who can write better emails than you.
8. Ignore Emoticons and Colloquialism
Talking about business emails, they have to be simple and convey the to-the-point message. These emails should be drafted in a manner that the person on the other side could easily understand your message.
If you have a doubt about one or more complex sentences that the other person may not understand, rephrase them.
9. Follow Up
It is crucial to follow up after you have successfully conveyed the message to the other person whether over an email, on a call, or in person.
It is also important because you would certainly want to know if the person on the other person understood your message or the assigned task that your communication intended to.
10. Give Importance to Small Talks
Eventually, businesses are people, not companies. And, clients do business with smart people and not well-built offices. Therefore, it is essential to create a good rapport with your clients to maintain good, long-term business relationships with them.
Here, the key is to make good use of your business communication skills.
Now that you have business opportunities, take them to know your clients as people with certain needs, and not as just customers who can get their needs served by some other company if not by yours.
You can build good relationships with your clients by chatting with them sometimes, just as you do with your friends and colleagues, maybe.
And, do not forget to take follow-ups after a meeting, phone call, or an email. Show them that you’re willing to serve their needs in the desired way.
11. Look Your Boss in Your Customers.
Your clients, ultimately, bring business and they are the ones holding checkbooks. Therefore, they apparently are your boss.
Since they come to you for your services, they certainly are in need of them. Show them you are the one they are looking for.
You need to dig deep into the project to figure out and discuss what their needs are, as then only you can figure out if they are feasible. Make sure to clear all the doubts you may have to put aside potential roadblocks (if any).
All you need is to have open communication with all your clients. Don’t pre-assume anything and make sure to run things by your client first.
While recommending ways to achieve their business goals, don’t go like “we can do this for you” or “you will have to buy this program go further”. Always present your ideas in addition to the pros and cons, and potential risks. Never overpromise anything to your clients. Instead, just ask them what exactly they expect from you.
A good businessman understands the essence of a healthy business-client relationship. Goes without saying, it costs way too less to keep a client than to acquire a new one, whatsoever!
In order for you to build loyal clients, you ought to build trust and show confidence through adequate business communication skills. Small efforts go a long way; therefore, make sure to invest the time to know your clients, learn effective ways for a discourse that is mutually beneficial.