Authenticity and honesty are integral to creating a strong business and brand. However, this does not mean you must divulge everything about your business, nor should you.
During economic downturns, I’ve heard business owners and entrepreneurs complain about how hard it is and how tough business had become. While people need to vent and express themselves, it’s important to consider several things before you open your mouth or hit your keyboard.
Ask yourself these questions before you speak negatively:
• What is the purpose of this communication?
• Is this conversation going to help me propel my business forward?
• Will complaining about what I believe is my current state of being help me?
• Will this behavior attract or repel potential clients or referral sources?
• Is there a more proactive way I can express my desire for more business and possibly elicit help, ideas or referrals?
Some proactive communications strategies you might consider:
Communication tip #1: Survey clients or potential clients about what they need or want most. In addition to providing you with insight about products and services your clients and potential clients are seeking, this will get your clients interacting with you and your brand and could remind them you’re there and may even result in sales.
Communication tip #2: Let people know that you “have room for” more clients or business. This does not sound desperate, especially if you avoid the word “need.” Even busy, successful people let others know when they have room for more clients or business, which is why they’re busy and successful.
Communication tip #3: Tell people of other opportunities you’re seeking, such as speaking engagements or ad trade opportunities.
Communication tip #4: Be creative and approach businesses that provide products and services that complement yours with the idea of cross-promoting your products or services.
Communication tip #5: If you have extra time on your hands, use it to promote yourself or your company. Use this time to write articles, pitch ideas to the media or put together a talk that you could present to a group of business people or others you’d like to reach.
Communication tip #6: Ask what you can do to help others promote their business. An introduction you make could help someone bring in more business, and most of us have learned, what goes around comes around. Plus, it feels good to help people grow their businesses.
A few communication tips to remember:
Be positive. People are more likely to get involved with a hopeful cause than a hopeless one. Be as positive as you can be. If you begin to use more positive words, you can even change your mind and your mood.
Don’t say it if you wouldn’t want it etched in stone. Consider that everything you write on your website, blog, Twitter or Facebook can live on forever. The same goes for e-mails and even phone conversations. As Oprah says, “I don’t write anything in an e-mail that I wouldn’t want to see in the New York Times.” It’s a good rule to follow.
Choose your confidantes wisely. If you really feel the need to share negative feelings or fears, do so with a few trusted friends or colleagues. This doesn’t mean you’re being false with everyone else; it just means you’re doing what’s best for your business. If you present yourself and your business as something that is vital and evolving, clients will be more excited to work with you and referral sources will be more enthusiastic about referring business to you.
Words have power. Use them to your advantage.
Now that you have a few communication tips, would you like some additional media training resources and tips?
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