Communication: Get It?

CommunicationLearning more about communication is helpful in business. Doesn’t matter where you learn it.

Try marriage. I learned it doesn’t matter what I want to tell my wife if she isn’t listening. Even if “what” I’m saying is right, 100% true, accurate and correct. Doesn’t matter. Unless she can hear it.

Seems obvious I know, but marriage is a great teacher. Here’s another example:

Business Books that Connect

There are a million of them out there (Carnegie, Ziglar, Gitomer) and they’re all saying very much the same thing.

The difference is they each say it in their distinct voice, style and personality (at least the good ones). And you either connect with it, or don’t.

Remember the last business book that inspired you? When you took those ideas into work and tried them?

That book, that author, connected with you. You were looking for an answer, and were open to receiving one. And you got it. It was meaningul, powerful and motivated you to take action.

Same is true for business communication.

Getting It

Business communication is the sending and receiving of messages. Sender – receiver – message.

Contractors communicate their message in proposals, brochures, and web sites.

The problem is most effort is spent on the message – that’s important too. But it’s only half the equation, only as important as the receiving.

If the receiver isn’t ready for, or open to the message, that message was worthless. You might as well as not have said it. Or, wrote it, or presented it, or advertised it.

Willingness to Receive

The sales goal is to facilitate customers’ willingness and acceptance of our messages.

That’s done by knowing what a particular customer (or market) wants. Almost all sales effort should be spent figuring out exactly what a customer is trying to solve.

The remaining sales effort should be spent creating solutions, and then communicating it in a manner that the customer can receive.

Your communication should tell the customer that:

A) You understand they’re trying to solve “x,y,z” -and-

B) Here’s a potential solution (your customized service offering)

For facility contractors, the solution is communicated in your responses to Request for Proposals (RFP), Quotes, Qualifications, etc.

Ideally, if you can work this ahead of the procurement curve, you can help customers avoid the RFP process altogether. Saves them time, money and headaches.

The Bottom Line of Communication

It’s about the receiving of messages by individual customers, messages that are important to them.

Figuring out how they receive information they’re open to. Information they’re more willing to accept and do something about. Like sign a contract, return your call, accept your appointment.

This means the presentation and timing of that message is AS important as the message itself.

Great message + mediocre presentation = zero (no reception by the recipient, no change, no action)

Great message + good presentation + bad timing = same zero

Great message + good presentation + good timing = returned call, appointment, contract

How are your business communications received?

Chris Arlen
President, Service Performance

Technorati: buying, messaging, RFPs

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