Communications– There Are No Relationships Without Communications
Underlying every strong relationship is communication. Communication is dependent on empathy and understanding. In business, these are invaluable components of your success. Only through them will you, for example, know what the customer desires, how your employees are functioning, and what leadership skills you need to add to be the best CEO you can be.
Take time to listen, really listen to what is being said. Often, what a customer thinks they want is not what is needed or desired to fulfill an expectation or solve a problem. However, he/she may not know how to identify or communicate effectively the specific requirement that they have. Listening attentively and understanding non-verbal cues leads to understanding and trust. If
you cite a feature or benefit of a product and the customer’s eyes light up, you will know something you might not have heard in words. The knowledge came via an emotion that you could ‘read’ and add to the mix. This helps establish a bond while you are able to also address the real need.
Conversely, if the customer raises his/her eyebrows, frowns or poses a quizzical look—you either have not answered the question (meaning you can follow with another more probing question) or you have lost the client in the discussion. In each case, you will then be able to circle around and explain the matter again in a way the customer will hopefully understand. Active listening requires patience. You may have go through the presentation a couple of times before the client understands thoroughly. Only by listening can you know this.
- BE RESPECTFUL
Possessing respect for one another begins with understanding what the other individual in the relationship feels, believes and understands. Through respect, communication can be both transparent and effective.
Be sure you are heard. It will help if you repeat what YOU hear from your customer and verify your understanding.
By reflecting what you think he’s saying, you offer the opportunity for him to ask you questions, for you both to go more depth. Going deeper means you have a chance to repeat 1. and 2. above.
It seems simple. And it is. But that doesn’t mean we use this approach as often as we should. So give it a try. This process will help you do a better job of communicating, developing or strengthening relationships. And that is how you create more successful business opportunities.