Communication is the key to any relationship. Business communication is the key to developing productive relationships that help people collaborate and achieve success. As social interactions take a hit due to the current climate of the world, these skills are more important than ever when it comes to conducting business online, or over the phone. Here are a few tips to help you when it comes to your business communication skills.
First Impressions Are Key
There is a reason so many sales experts discuss conversation starters. As soon as you have a lead talk freely with you, there is an opportunity to source their needs and how your business can help them. Creating natural conversations can be tough without the right entry point and strategy. If your first impression is an immediate pitch it could dampen the relationship from the get-go. With every conversation being cast over with a heavy fog of “when is the sales pitch coming”. Like a jump-scare in a horror movie. You wait for it. Then after the dread kicks in, they hit you with it. Now no-one wants to be compared with The Exorcist, so don’t rush in unless you’re happy with ruining your reputation with that lead.
Keeping On Topic
Small talk is fine. Excessive chatter isn’t productive. Break things down into smaller paragraphs and remove unnecessary waffle, jokes and otherwise pointless communication. There is nothing wrong with being nice and asking how someone’s day is going. But, going into extensive detail about off-topic issues may just harm the workflow and confuse whoever you are writing to. You should keep things friendly, but not personal during business communication. There are friends in business, but remember to differentiate between when you are talking about business matters and when you are discussing what movie you’re going to see next.
One of the most overlooked aspects of written communication can be formatting. If you take one look at an email and immediately look away, you’re not going to take in everything. It also helps to bolden important information, underline aspects which need to be addressed and break paragraphs down into each element. Create a new paragraph when the topic changes, wherever you may be writing. You also need to remember the platform you are using, if you are writing an email you can go into more detail than you would within a message on LinkedIn. People generally sit down to read their emails but maybe on-the-go when checking their phones for a brief moment.
Talk With Everyone
You’ll never know the true value of talking to someone unless you start. Just because whoever you are talking to doesn’t have a C-level role doesn’t mean they aren’t a valuable connection. You will benefit from talking to everyone. Time-management wise this sounds like a nightmare, but always be open to discussion. Even if it’s a brief conversation you could make a difference to their lives and they could gleam you with some words of wisdom that change your life.
In essence business communication skills is just communication skills. Develop your soft skills, learn to listen, pick your moments and craft crystal clear emails. Most importantly keep it natural, and be yourself.