Sub-Task : Communication
Before you can master any of the Sub-Tasks below this one, you have to master communication. Typically, this skill is assumed. We all talk, we all interact, and we generally assume that this constitutes communicating. However, in a business setting, communication is much more than just interchanging noises, gestures, and looks. It’s about being able to share an idea so that another person sees it from your point of view, in the way that you intend. While we can never, ever be sure that it has worked, there are steps you can take as a leader and as a team to ensure that you do a better job of relaying information. From a sales perspective, it is important that you take advantage of every element of communication in order to convey not just facts, but passion, purpose, integrity, transparency, trust—the list goes on and on. It’s the main reason why I make a huge point earlier in the book as to the importance of communicating face to face or at least over the phone. It is impossible to convey emotion in the same way in an email or text.
From a team-building point of view, communication is important if not more so. You cannot hope to lead a team over email. Otherwise, we would all be sitting at home reading emails all day. Even remote workers know the benefit of video calls.
The benefits of communicating effectively are huge for your team. You can instantly boost morale by listening well and articulating your answers well. In turn, this will build a strong, healthy team culture. You can also resolve conflicts quickly and easily. In fact, for the most part, communication done well will help you avoid these issues completely. How often does conflict arise simply because one person has misunderstood another? The most obvious benefit of good communication is that it provides clarity and direction for your individual customers and team members. As a side benefit, it greatly enhances your personal reputation when you can clearly get your point across and others are able to truly ascertain what you mean.
One of the major issues with today’s world is that there are too many ways to communicate. With so much choice, and the instant nature of many of them, it’s far too easy to rush communication and risk being misunderstood. We are all guilty of it. People expect an instant response, so instead of considering what we want to say and how we want to say it, we just fire something off and hope for the best.
On the flip side, there are so many text-based communication tools that the art of conversation is being lost. Worse than that, it’s being avoided. I am guilt of this too. The phone rings, and instead of giving someone five minutes of your time, you ignore the call and say to yourself, I wish they would just text me. It’s important, then, that you have a way to ensure that your call is taken. Often, this requires planning so that a person is ready to have a real conversation.
You are going to be running a business. You have to take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. There will be windows of opportunity for you and your team. How you communicate with one another and with customers and business prospects during these crucial times will determine how successful you are. When a potential customer gives you a signal that they are ready to purchase, you have to be able to communicate in such a way as to ensure that the deal is completed. More often than not, you will want to do this with a reassuring phone call, if not a meeting or video chat. It is vital that your team members understand this too—you don’t want them firing off a random and unstructured text response, like OK Thanks, when clearly there is a chance to make a call and put a sale to bed.
Therefore, you need a communication strategy, so everyone in the team knows what form of communication is acceptable and what is not. Going back to your core values, there should be an element of these in there, but also some extremely practical and pertinent instruction. In a way, you are creating your own framework or process for your business based on how you want to communicate. Another way to think of it is standardization. You are creating guidelines: when to use a certain type of communication tool and when not to.
From a teamworking point of view, there is another necessity, and that is to ensure that communication is productive and moving the business forward. Don’t have long-winded, over-indulgent meetings. Have an agenda, stick to it, and make sure everyone knows what they are doing. When you set ground rules like this and lead by example, you create a precedent that your teammates will use as they generate their own team.
This content was originally published here.