5 Effective Communication Strategies for Every Service Business Owner
As a professional service-based business owner – coach, consultant, dentist, therapist, realtor etc – there are things that you think you must be doing to be able to scale up your business.
You need to improve your client base…
You need to have an effective marketing system…
You need to scale your business to 6, or maybe 7-figures…
All these are very essential for your business to experience massive growth.
However, in the process of trying to get all of these things in place, chances are that you will forget the basic foundations on which your business ought to be built on. Amongst so many of these aspects of your business, communication is very essential.
Why is communication important?
The answer is quite simple. Your business involves a direct dealing with clients and this makes communication very crucial to your business.
Communication is at the center of everything you do in trying to help your client solve their pressing needs. A lot of people who own service businesses have failed woefully in this regard. That is why so much effort is being put in, but the outcomes are below expectations.
“But I try to communicate!” you would say.
It is not just about communicating, it’s about communicating right!
From my wealth of experience, in addition to a few things I learnt from people who have mastered the art of effective communication in business, I will share five effective strategies that will help you.
1. Honesty and Transparency
It’s been said that honesty and transparency – in business – is the best policy. This applies to both current and prospective clients. However, my emphasis is on the latter.
In communicating with a client, you have to be clear, honest, and transparent in your dealing. Sometimes, they try to ask direct questions about the services you render. This is usually because they want to be 100% sure about the service they are going to pay for.
In a recent survey done by AYTM, a marketing solution website, to ascertain the impact of honesty on businesses, 85% of respondents affirmed that they prefer to work with businesses that they consider to be honest.
If a client comes to you with unrealistic goals, as you interact with them, let them understand that the goals they are setting are unrealistic. You have to be honest with your client from the get go.
If you are honest and transparent with your clients, you will be able to communicate with them effectively. They will trust you enough to also open up to you, which makes helping them easier for you.
2. Use Appropriate Channels to Communicate
Is it possible that the reason you can communicate effectively with your clients is that you are using the wrong channel?
Think about this; if I prefer receiving email correspondences from you, and I’m most comfortable with that, and then you keep calling me, you will freak me out. It is same for your clients.
There are so many channels that you can use to communicate with your clients – email, text messages, social media, Skype, and of course, phone calls. The challenge is to know which channel suits your clients.
To deal with this, you need to know what your target audience is like.
A Silversurfers research shows that 92% of people from 50 years and above love to stay in touch with Facebook. Therefore, if your clients are from 50 and above, then Facebook will be a great channel to use in communicating with them. Well, Facebook also works people of lower age brackets.
Creating a Facebook group for your clients will make communication easier and more effective. They get to share their problems and get answers from people who have been in their situation. You can keep in touch by having regular Q&A sessions – weekly, biweekly, or any frequency that works best with your clients
Communicating with your clients using the channel that suits them makes them more relaxed. You can easily get across to them and work with them better.
3. Make It Fun!
Your client can manage few doses of no-so-serious conversations. It is true that you have a business relationship with your clients. But hey, people are way too emotional than they are logical.
Whether you are sending out an email, calling them on the phone, or having a one-to-one conversation, you need to add some elements of fun to it. Do not overblow it, so it doesn’t lose its intended effect.
The reason for this is to get your clients to be relaxed and enjoy communicating with you. You need to create that atmosphere of ease and comfort for your clients – while still being professional.
4. Share A Bit Of Your Experiences
There is nothing that opens up a client to you than when you can relate with them, based on your experiences. According to American Express, 74% of customers connect more with experienced professionals. You are likely going communicate with your clients more, if you share your experiences with them.
Let’s say you are a financial coach. Sharing your personal experiences about how you came out of a financial mess, will help a client, who needs help with their finances, relate better with you. It gives them the hope that if you were able to come out of that mess, then you can help them come out of theirs.
If you have a record of health challenge that you were able to overcome, sharing it with your client will make them see that you can understand their situation.
Sharing real life or business experiences go a long way to create trust and good rapport with your client. You will get their attention and interest in the solution you are proffering for them.
5. Always Listen!
This is a never-do-without.
The only way you can get what your client is saying, to the tiniest detail, is to listen to them. Do not always be in a hurry to share with them the packages you have for them. Listen and understand what your client is saying.
As much as you can, let them have some level of control over your conversations. Allow them to do more of the talking, while you listen more. Do not take words out of their mouth, let them finish what they have to say.
A Quick Recap…
Communication is a key factor in building a lasting relationship with clients. For it to be effective, you have to do it right. Follow the steps above and enjoy a great working relationship for your clients. The steps once again are:
- Be honest and transparent with your clients. They will open up to you in ways you can’t imagine
- Communicate through appropriate channels. Don’t forget, a Facebook group will work well for this purpose.
- Add some element of fun in the communication process. Let them enjoy relating with you.
- Show them that you understand them by sharing your personal experiences with them.
- Finally, listen to them when they have something to tell you.
Ready to implement these strategies in your business?
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