Do you ever wish you could go back to your younger self and share some wisdom about how to communicate effectively? It would be so convenient to whisper in your young ear the knowledge that would save a lot of mistakes, angst and frustration.
We can’t go back in time, but we can share what we have learned. Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned the hard way.
It's not about you; it's about them. Every time we found a message under-performing, a product faltering or a partnership failing, it was inevitably because the work being done did not resonate with the audience's priorities. We have to remember to channel our energy into understanding our audience above ourselves and make sure we are speaking to their concerns rather than our own.
Feelings first, facts later. We have to win clients over emotionally before they will absorb information. Numbers have their place, but nothing beats a good story that makes them come alive. We have to speak to the soul so the facts have a fighting chance. Don’t be afraid to make a personal connection with your client. Chances are they will respect you more. They want to know whom they are doing business with.
The messenger matters. We can have an awesome message, but if we’ve got the wrong messenger, it won't matter. We're in an era where faith in traditional spokespeople and marketers is at a historic low, so people are turning to trusted friends, family, independent authorities and peers for their recommendations. It’s all about networking. Building good relationships with clients will lead to more business. If they are happy they will tell their friends about it.
Be generous when you're hungry. When you are solely focused on getting something from others, instead of what you give them, you get in trouble. It's not what we need; it's what value we provide. Caring about delivering for clients creates prosperity. When we are communicating it’s important to remember that we own the great space of what we give rather than the tiny area of what we need.