Good communication skills are essential for achieving business success. Luckily, there are simple strategies you can use to increase your communication confidence! Throughout my career, I’ve encountered more sticky situations than I can count. And I’ve been grateful for the effective communication skills I have in my toolbox each time.
Here are answers to a few questions I hear regularly from my clients. You have probably already dealt with one or more of these situations in your business. And if not, you probably will!
I want to follow-up with a potential client without sounding pushy
As a savvy business owner, following up with your potential clients is just a solid business practice. Approach them using confident and professional communication. You will have a greater chance of success. Worrying that you might be “bothering” your prospect and wondering if they hired someone else are both energy-wasters and will undermine your confidence!
Instead, establish a standard follow-up schedule. Design one that feels comfortable for you and your business model. Where do you begin? Start by using communication confidence to send a simple text or email the day after your meeting or consult.
- It was great meeting with you yesterday, have you had a chance to review the information/quote?
- Do you have any questions I can answer for you?
- I am excited to work with you!
By creating a process and scheduling it in advance, you take the “memory” out of the picture and create an easily repeatable system. Your communication may lead to a positive reply or engaging follow-up questions. Or, on the other hand, you may receive a negative response. If so, you can pivot and focus your attention on other potential clients. Either way, it’s a win-win!
My clients routinely contact me after business hours
While it is probably not what you want to hear, this situation is a result of a lack of boundary-setting on your part. It brings to mind the expression, “Give them an inch and they take a mile.” By setting appropriate boundaries, you can curtail (and often prevent) these scenarios.
So first, determine how you want the situation to change. After all, your time is valuable. And you deserve balance in your personal and professional life. Confidently acknowledge this fact and embrace your value. By doing so, you can create a solid foundation for ongoing communication.
As part of your initial process, consider implementing a few specific communication guidelines with all your new clients. And don’t just tell them… put them in writing! At a minimum, include information about:
- Your availability (days, hours)
- How to contact you (phone, email, text, social media)
- Your average response time (1 hour, 4 hours, 24 hours)
- How you will contact them (phone, email, text, social media)How to increase your communication confidence when working with clients.
And for existing clients, put together a quick email that you can automate and send to everyone outlining the same information. This is a great way to use communication confidence to establish healthy communication practices with your clients and to set reasonable guidelines as to what they can expect from you!
My clients/prospects regularly question my pricing
This is a situation that comes up often and seems to cause stress for a lot of business owners. But there’s no need for that! Instead of dealing with anxiety each time this question arises, prepare a standard response in advance.
Take the confidence you have in yourself and your expertise and use it to craft your thoughtful response. Include information that illustrates the value you are providing related to the cost. And let them know the success of the project is important to you.
Having your statement ready in advance, you can address pricing objections without missing a beat. And by handling it with communication confidence, you are establishing a boundary of respect. At the very least, you should see a shift in the tone of the conversation.
For more on pricing and communication, watch for next month’s blog on the psychology of pricing. I find it fascinating.
Confident communication can become second nature by believing in yourself and your ability. Self-acceptance leads to positivity, so embrace all that you are. You will find that your clients will typically follow suit.
When people choose to do business with you, it is largely based on how you present yourself as a business owner. So, smile! Hold your head high! And always put your best, most confident foot forward.
My new book, Respond with Confidence: The Business Owner’s Blueprint for Handling Difficult Situations, addresses how to handle many more scenarios like those described above, and with confidence.
For more information on Nancy's new book, click here.