My wife is a very successful hairstylist, and due to her success, effectively coaches other hairstylists on growing their businesses.
Something that came up recently was her communication skills.
One of her clients said to her “I just don’t know how to say things the way you say them.”
Just like working out, writing and communicating is a muscle that when flexed repeated, consistently, and pushed appropriately, it gets better.
As my wife tells me this story, she kind of looks at me with a facial expression saying
“Why don’t people know this stuff?”
Well, because we’re never taught Email Etiquette or Text Messaging in a Business 101.
However, it’s absolutely a skill that can be learned, regardless of how much you think you’re not a writer or effective communicator.
Are You Using Your Words Wisely?
I want to give you a few basic rules I follow that have not only allowed me to write more effectively to get my message across but also separate myself by communicating professionally through the myriad of avenues we now access regularly (email, text, FB messenger, IG DMs, LinkedIn, Voxer, etc).
In a face to face scenario, we rarely walk up and just start talking to someone with all our points. We say hi and ask how their day is going. It’s not super involved, but it sets a good tone. You can do the same when communicating electronically.
It’s as simple as starting your message with “Hey Karen, I hope you’re having a great day! I’m reaching out because…” Seriously, it’s that easy. Put people at ease from the outset, and the chances of attaining your goal of the conversation greatly increase.
I know not everyone agrees with this, but good grief check your spelling and grammar.
Unless you’re communicating with someone you know who doesn’t mind, imagine your 11th grade English teacher will be reading your message, and your grade (paycheck) depends on it.
If you want to be treated professionally, be professional. It only takes a minute or so to check.
When wrapping up your message, be clear with what you’re looking for. If you want them to message back, end with “Thanks so much. Please let me know at your earliest convenience.” or if it’s someone you have a good relationship with, you can be a little more informal with “Holler back when you have a chance. Thanks!”
If it was something informative, make sure your message gets across with “Please let me know if you have any questions” or “Don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s anything else you need from me at this time.”
In our ever distracted world, attention is hard to come by, and availability is gold. If your business benefits from you being available for your clients, make sure you let them know they can contact you when needed.
I’ve had numerous clients over the years not reach out to me because they didn’t want to “bother” me, which has shown me I needed to change my communication and let them know I’m here for them!
I know this stuff seems simple, but simple done consistently will separate you from the rest. It doesn’t have to be fancy and complicated. Be concise, polite, and welcoming, and I know you’ll get the responses you’re looking for more often than not.