Hello ladies and gentlemen,
The title of this article should have been effective communication instead of effective business communication, for SEO purposes however I chose the longer keyword, as its probability to rang high is superior.
Communication is between human beings, and it can be that in a business environment certain aspects of communication differ, the basis however remains the same.
The effectiveness of communication is characterized by its ability to achieve its goals. If the goals are just the entertaining of the participants or a short social conversation then for most people there is a natural flow and an easiness to communicate, if however, the intention is to produce a certain outcome then things can get more complicated, particularly if there is a conflict of interests between the different participants.
Communication is a very complex and deep topic, the intention of this article however is not to dive deep into the ocean of knowledge, like a deep-sea submarine that vanishes in unimaginable depths to conquest and discover new worlds that have been out of sight until recently.
My intention is to give you some practical tips on how to achieve your goals both in business and in life, by communicating effectively.
Effective Business Communication
P.C.T.V. (Predefinition, Clear Communication, Time, Verification)
- Predefine what your goal is, prior of the communication. You need to know exactly what you want to achieve, what is the ideal outcome, but also what alternative would be satisfactory. If your goal is not crystal clear to you, then the attempt to try to achieve a blurry objective is going to fail.
- After the meet and greet and the building rapport stage of your conversation, communicate what your goal is clearly and precisely. Your prospect should understand exactly what you want from him/her, what he/she needs to do. Crystal clear goals, drive to action, and action brings results. For example, set the goals for the next day, prior you go to sleep. When you wake up early in the morning you are going to know exactly what you need to do, if you do not set up the goals the night before, then waking up in the morning is going to be way harder.
- Set a specific time (for example on Thursday at 07:00 pm) or a specific time frame (within the next 3 days, that means the results need to be delivered until the latest Thursday at 07:00 pm). Setting a specific time is the most essential part of all. When certain things are expected to be achieved by specific persons, then setting the specific time is of the essence. A goal is ALWAYS related to a time frame. If there is no time frame, then no action is going to be taken and your “goals” are not goals but dreams and wishes. If for example, you want to lose weight, then you want to lose a certain amount of weight within a certain amount of time. If no time frame is there, then there is no purpose in setting a goal in the first place.
- Write the desired outcome down, or just repeat what you agreed in front of your prospect so that you underline the importance of the goal, and he understands that you have specific expectations from him within a specific time period, expectations that you are going to follow up. Verify the goal you just set. Even if the communication is on the telephone, you can use the same technique. Write down the desired outcome and WHEN you expect this to happen. Even if your prospect can not see you, if you repeat what you write on a paper, he/she is going to understand you do so. By verifying the goal you put social pressure on him and you compromise him.
As a sales coach last year I changed my opinion and perspective on the hard approach, depending of course on the gravity of the communication and its nature.
The reason why, is that I want to give the option and the liberty to the other party to reveal itself, without hard pushing him. By doing so, you know quite fast how sincere your prospect is, and you can very fast stop chasing him and get him out of the picture.
The digital world and the digital culture affected human relationships. If they don’t have to physically meet in person someone, the easiness to be irresponsible is very high. As “Iron Mike” said, “Social media made you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it”.
The response to that (unfortunately) is to let people go easy so that you can invest your time and energy to the ones that are worth it. It goes both ways. Of course, all these does not apply constantly. If you must achieve your goal with a specific person, a hard approach is a must. There are no choices there.