Successful relationships are launched with open and honest communications generating not only trust but a comfortable safety zone for conversation.
You can’t build a foundation with silence or filtered information. It doesn’t work.
Of course you don’t want to harm feelings or be politically incorrect but if you choose to zip the lips, then you are doing a tremendous disservice to both yourself and the other party.
Misinformation, resentment or incorrect assumptions may end up taking a leading role because you did not voice your opinion. In valued relationships, whether professional or personal, make sure you ask questions, maintain an open mind, listen clearly, foster feedback, act, don’t react upon the responses, and follow up with a summation and action steps of the discussion.
Having the knowledge, tips, tools and skillset to successfully perform your job is vital to your success but more important is your instinct and soft skills to help nurture your partnership. If your interpersonal communication skills need a little polish or you’re only in it for financial gain, then you may suffer the consequences.
It is so important to uncover what IS working as well as what ISN’T working otherwise the relationship could dissolve.
Confidence in Communications
Thriving vendor – client partnerships prosper with ongoing conversations that don’t merely revolve around sales or projects but also the dynamics of the process as a whole. Initiate the dialog with the desire to listen and communicate clearly. It is a two-way street and you each have something important to say. Encourage a secure, non-judgmental environment.
“Too many business owners and sales people try to sell their product or service, neglecting the fact that their customer is a person. In fact, the customer is a person who has feelings, influences and a mind of their own. They want to be connected with, and to trust and believe the person from which they are buying.” Rebecca Wilson
Honestly, how many times have you thought?
“I wonder when Mr. Park N. Later will send me the files to finish the project?”
“I don’t believe Ms. Jan C. Never followed up on my email last week?”
“Wow! Mr. Bee Frankly is right on top of my feedback survey. This is a great day.”
Do you know what runs through your client’s mind? Are they 100% satisfied with your products AND service?
Recognize there is a vast difference between service and services. Create the ultimate customer experience with unsurpassed service and they will continue to buy your services.
ASK! Don’t assume things are fine simply because you have a contract.
Don’t wait for issues to arise.
Outline your CHIPS™ for Effective 2-Way Communications
CHIPS™: Client Handbook: Ignite Partner Success is your company framework or platform which shapes systems, processes, communications and strategies for your everyday service and solutions. Let it be a guidepost of how you effectively relate to your stakeholders, creating detailed segments for each facet of your business, like a policy manual.
- Schedule periodic calls to check in to discuss what is working and what isn’t; where can you both improve
- Don’t rely on an email or text message. Things get lost in translation. Making the investment is a values based opportunity to demonstrate your respect and interest in not just the sale but your client and relationship
- Jot down a few notes highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly
- Give each party plenty of time to speak, vent or otherwise share their thoughts regarding your partnership
- Understand YOUR role is to provide the best customer experience
- Be flexible and willing to compromise
- Understand your client’s point of view
- Clearly and kindly articulate your own viewpoints
- Cultivate continuous improvement and dialog
- Summarize the call, reiterating what you heard
- Create action steps
- Ask for feedback about the call
- Before you hang up, commit to the next conversation
Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. Rollo May
Embrace every relationship you have by investing in authentic conversations because you care enough to want it to succeed.
Because you want to build empowered, valued partnerships.
Because it feels good. It is fulfilling.
Never shy away from asking the real questions, the most difficult questions of what is working and what isn’t working.
Who will you call today?