Any entrepreneur knows that the real secret to doing business is creating relationships. So, what better way to improve your business than by working on your communication skills? Next time you think about contacting a potential client or emailing your boss with some bad news, check out these four tips to make sure the way you communicate is working for you, not against you.
1. Keep it Professional
There is nothing wrong with small talk when you’re doing business with clients and colleagues. In fact, it’s nice to share personal stories or a funny anecdote once in awhile to build relationships. But we have all been annoyed at times trying to wrap up a deal with someone who simply will not stop talking about a past relationship, what they are having for dinner, or their daughter’s wedding plans. Don’t let that someone be you! When it comes to including your personal life in your professional relationships, make sure that you keep unnecessary information to a minimum and only share stories that improve your relationships.
2. Be Honest
This should be the golden rule of business communication. Sure, it’s true that there are times when you need to bend the truth in order to do business, but making a habit of it is a surefire way to kill your professional reputation. If you are ever caught lying to a client or colleague, you can probably kiss that business relationship goodbye. You wouldn’t want to do business with someone that you can’t trust, and no one else does either.
3. Avoid Blatant Self-Promotion
There is a time and place for advertising, but small talk with a client is not that time. Although making connections and marketing your skills and products is very important, if your products and services are worth buying, they should speak for themselves. It is much better to speak to clients and business associates as if you know your services are selling well, not like you are trying to make an extra buck within a short conversation.
4. Embrace New Communication Styles
If you have been in business for more than 20 years, you have seen first hand how the playing field has changed with the presence of the internet. Our business communication styles have had to change, as well. Now, instead of a phone call, most people will send a text or email. And instead of writing formally, most professionals use a type of cyber shorthand in order to communicate with colleagues. So if you are still stuck sending a fax when you could easily share a Google Doc, it’s time to wake up and participate in the modern world. Not only will it make you seem more “with it,” it will attract clients and colleagues of all ages.
About the Author: Jemima Lopez is a freelance blogger and writer who writes for Zen College Life, the directory of higher education, distance learning, and online degrees. She welcomes your comments at her email: lopezjemima562 @ gmail.com.