How do you communicate? Are you blunt and to the point or do you prefer to use inference to get your message across? Do you worry that you’ll hurt people’s feelings if you speak your mind? Everyone is different. If we weren’t we’d all have to do the same job and that would never work.
The way you communicate grows out the type of person you are. You might be a ‘big picture’ thinker who makes decisions based on your overall impression of a situation. You’re likely to lose patience with someone who thrives on data and wants to talk you through all of the details.
Why your style matters
Whatever the size or structure of your business, you’re likely to meet people who communicate differently from you. Managing those relationships well is key to ensuring your business succeeds.
If you offer any kind of professional advice your clients are going to rely on you to get the details right. Whether they want to hear about them is another matter. I used to write detailed advice letters to clients in legal claims. Some of them would read everything and then contact me to confirm what they wanted to do straight away. Others would call and ask to be taken through everything again. There were even a few who would see a lengthy letter and ring to say they hadn’t read it, could I just give them the gist?
It can cause conflict if you feel you’re communicating with someone who isn’t listening to you, or is overlooking something important. If it’s a customer you can either do as they ask or take the decision that you can’t work with them. If it’s a colleague you should try to remember that different roles need different personalities. I know, easier said than done.
The way you communicate with your customers will often depend on what you’re selling. Your product or service might attract a specific type of person with a particular communication style. Often, it’s a case of deciding what level of information you need to offer about your product at each stage of the process. If you sell luxury cars your prospects will be drawn in by the overall image of the brand and the air of exclusivity. However, once they’re through the door you’ll need to get into the finer details before they part with their cash.
Know your customer’s style
You’ll probably already have an idea of the information you’ll need to give your customers before they decide to buy. How it’s presented is equally important. If your customers are ‘big picture’ communicators and you’re not, you could consider outsourcing to bring in the right skillset. I’ve even done rewrites of clients’ existing content to target it at the right audience.
If you’re able to talk to your customers directly and assess their personality, you can decide how best to communicate with them on a case by case basis. However, this isn’t always possible. I find that it helps to be prepared for every eventuality.
Your marketing might be designed to give potential customers an overall feel of the benefits of your service. However, you should still be prepared to offer detail if they ask for it. If you’re the details person you might struggle with a broad brush approach. Outsourcing is ideal in this situation as someone with no prior knowledge of your business can offer you a fresh perspective.
What’s your style? How do you communicate with your customers? Drop me a comment and let me know!
If you need any help presenting your communications in a different style or want to try a new approach to your content marketing, I’m for hire! Get in touch or register here to receive regular updates, special offers and a free copy of my guide, ‘Marketing magic: your indispensable guide to creating amazing headlines’.