Communication is key to the success of any business, be it a brick and mortar business or a 21st Century online enterprise. The success of your business or the lack of it rests to a great extent on how well you keep in touch with your customers. You need to get to know your audience and you need to be able to pass your message across to them very effectively. If you fail to do this, it would be difficult to keep them interested. This means that you might be running yourself out of business, because it’s an engaged audience that will buy from you.
In this post I want us to see where you might not be communicating well with your audience and we will see how you can improve. If you apply the point discussed here you would definitely be able to communicate better with anyone.
Step 1 – Find Out What’s Wrong
Did you know that it is possible not to know that you don’t communicate well? Did you also know that the first step to becoming better at anything is to find out where you suck at doing that thing? The same applies to being a better communicator. When you admit that you can become better, then you can.
Signs of A Poor Communicator
Below I have put together some traits that poor communicators have. If you frequently notice them in your relationships, then you might want to change.
- Your “Discussion” is a One-Way Street – a discussion between two people is meant to be a 2-way affair not a one-way street. You are meant to listen as much as you speak, if not more.
- Initialisms and acronyms – not everyone understands what SEO, CPC, CPL and others mean, your readers included. To be nice on your audience, the first time it occurs in a piece of writing, you should write out the acronym in full and have the short form in brackets. Afterwards you can keep using the acronyms. For instance, when SEO first appears in a piece of text, you should write “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” and then you can keep using the acronym without losing your readers.
- Being Overly negative – negativity will not do much to improve the lives of your readers. Instead of telling them every time what they should not do, you should strive to tell them what they should do.
- Assuming they know everything about you already – it is not all your readers that are aware of your history. Not everyone knows that you started your business from a garage, so don’t like everyone knows everything about you. Give background information again for the sake of new readers and if you can’t you can at least provide a link to the post where they can find that background information.
- Not arranging and formatting your content to create engagement – It is an engaged visitor that will likely become a buying customer, so you should strive to get your audience engaged. Your write-ups should be arranged in paragraphs and lists, and you should also include images. As much as possible, you should not use a text-only approach.
- Not thinking through your ideas – the only thing that is worse than terrible execution is a terrible idea. If your plan or idea is faulty, whatever is based on that plan would be faulty too.
- Telling your audience that there’s only one way around a problem – you are not meant to present your solution as the only solution to your client’s problem. True, your service might be the best one out there, yet it might not be the best fit for a prospective client at that point in time. Or how would a person making $40,000 a year be able to afford a service that would put him back $50,000.
- Guilty of not caring enough – Your audience need to know that you truly care about them and not about their money. You are dealing with human beings and not bank accounts. Show empathy, take time out to alleviate their concerns and answer their questions. Show them that you truly care.
Step 2 – Fix What’s Wrong
Now that you know where you might be a little way off, let’s quickly see what you should do.
- Focus on Them, Not You – People come to you so that you can help them, your audience listen to you so that they can learn something from you. It is therefore not all about you, rather it is all about them. Strive to make them better at what they do and you will be surprised at how your rewards will compound.
- It’s meant to be a conversation, not a lecture – Give your audience an avenue to get across to you. Ask them questions and request for feedback from them. That way, they will see that you are genuinely interested in them. You would be surprised at the results this can bring your way.
- Personalize Your conversation – As much as possible, converse with your audience in a personal manner, use the second person reference when speaking with them. This means that instead of saying “I attend lots of conferences” or “He speaks quite well” or “They are good at what they do”, you should say, “You should try to attend conferences.” You should be talking to a single person, not a crowd of people.
- Ask questions – When you ask questions, your audience will feel more involved and they will be more willing to help you out.
- Don’t sound like a superhero – If you’ve made mistakes at any point in time, be sure to mention it. People learn more when you tell about your mistakes than when you sound like a superhero.
Step 3 – Keep Improving
This step is pretty simple and straightforward but it takes a lifetime to accomplish. No matter how good you are at communicating with people, there will always be room for improvement. So, make it a point of duty to dedicate yourself to the lifelong process of being a better communicator.