If you’re a speaker, your communication skills represent your entire business. And you’re probably pretty good at giving speeches.
It’s not just about going out on stage and wowing audiences, though.
You also need the ability to communicate effectively with clients. You want to get their attention and eventually build a relationship. You also need them to book your speaking services – preferably more than once.
This is even more important for anyone working on building a speaking service.
You already have the tools at your disposal. Now you just need to hone them for different needs.
Fourteen Techniques for Effective Communication With Clients
You’re a great speaker and you’re confident in your techniques. But you may need some extra pointers when it comes to communicating with clients.
Find out how to put your influencer skills to good use. Build your business with the following techniques:
#1 – Know Your Product or Service Inside and Out
It’s important for any business to know every detail of their products or services. You may think this is simple for you, right? After all, as an influencer you are your service.
But it goes a little deeper than that.
Yes, as a speaker, you should know your service already. But a client might ask any question under the sun. So prepare to answer questions about your expertise, as well as your speaking engagements.
#2 – Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
You probably want to book as many clients as possible. Saying “no” to a client might go against the grain of what you’re trying to do. There are instances, though, when saying this simple word is the better part of valour… But you may want to exhaust all of the other alternatives first. Use it when there are no other options left.
If a potential client asks you to promise something you know you can’t deliver, it’s better to simply refuse. Saying “no” to requests you can’t honour allows you to keep your business integrity and expectations intact.
Also, saying “no” when needed shows that you stand by your word and are discerning about your promises. This helps clients to trust and respect you.
#3 – Listen to Their Needs and Expectations
Another key is to listen to your clients. Avoid the risk of misunderstandings. Pay attention to non-verbal communication and practice active listening skills.
Go to a quiet place when speaking with clients. Give them your undivided attention. And like your speaking engagements, ensure that you make eye contact.
Summarising their points will help you understand their needs and tailor your services to match.
#4 – Speak Their Language
Save fancy jargon for your peers!
Avoid the temptation to impress potential clients with industry jargon. Great communication requires adapting to your client – the way you’d tailor a speech to your audience.
Also, pay close attention to their tone and mirror it. If they speak in formal tones, answer in a similar fashion. Or if they prefer a casual style, respond in the same manner.
You don’t necessarily have to change who you are. However, making some compromises could help them feel more comfortable speaking with you.
#5 – Be Polite
Manners go a long way in any situation. But it’s especially effective when communicating with clients. Remember to say “please” and “thank you” when appropriate.
Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.
And what if your client is less than polite to you?
Keep displaying your excellent manners. You’re not responsible for their behaviour. But you certainly have control of your own and the impression you leave behind.
#6 – Empathise with Their Problems
When you speak with clients, it’s easy to get caught up in logistics. After all, you’re excited about your business. But remember that they’re people, too.
This may mean slowing down to understand and acknowledge your client’s perspective. Empathising with clients also helps defuse potentially difficult conversations. It helps to reassure them that you only have their best interests at heart.
#7 – Ask Questions and Show Genuine Interest
Your client is full of questions. But don’t shy away from asking some of your own. It’s better to ask too many questions than risk confusion because you were afraid to bring up your concerns.
Also, asking questions conveys genuine interest. It shows you care about them and what they think.
#8 – Use the Right Channels
Technology has opened up new ways of communicating. But not all channels carry the same benefits. Make sure to use the right ones for the right situations.
Face-to-face meetings aren’t the only way to build a relationship with clients. Email, SMS, and social media all play a part in the process.
Emails are a targeted and scalable way to communicate. But you need to make sure you get the tone right. You can’t rely on non-verbal language cues with written messages.
SMS and social media platforms are a great way to engage potential clients. Use them for casual interactions and save longer responses for face-to-face meetings.
#9 – Add a Personal Touch
Adding a personal touch can make your client feel special. Obvious templates are a no-no if you want to build a relationship.
Who wants to look at a form letter?
Let them know you’re interested in them by asking about their interests or what’s happening in their life. Sending a handwritten note also works wonders for establishing a relationship.
#10 – Prompt Follow-Ups
Close the connection loop by promptly following up with your clients. And try to personalise your approach. Think back to the conversation you had and carefully consider the client’s needs. This lets the client know you listened to them. And it helps set clear expectations about any decisions that were made in the meeting.
Sometimes you need to make exploratory calls after networking at an event. In this instance, be careful about bombarding them with follow-ups.
Convey genuine interest in opening up further lines of communication. But don’t pressure them with constant emails, SMS, or social media messages. Give them time to respond if they’re interested.
#11 – Ask for Feedback
You ask the audience for feedback at your speaking events. But asking clients for feedback is equally important.
They can help you identify weak spots and areas you need to strengthen. Asking them for feedback shows that you value their opinion. And displaying humility this way may help you earn their trust as well.
#12 – Stay Patient
You know that you want to improve your communication skills. But your clients may not be at the same level. So, it’s important to stay patient when speaking with them.
Avoid interrupting them when they’re speaking. Even if you think you have a great solution, wait for them to finish a sentence – don’t interrupt.
Interruptions can upset clients and make them feel like you don’t value their input.
Also, monitor your tone of voice. Tone can convey impatience more than your actual words. So, keep your interactions positive, personable, and friendly.
#13 – Be Consistent
Consistency is important whether you’re messaging or speaking to your client. Your first interaction sets the tone for their expectations. If you’re different in subsequent interactions, it may throw them off.
Keep your branding in mind when you communicate with clients.
What’s your image?
What are your values?
These factors should be reflected in every interaction with your client.
#14 – Make Things Easy for Them
Clients are often short on time. When you communicate with them, you want to make it as easy on them as possible.
Sometimes that means having links to your speaking events on-hand for forwarding to them. Using direct links saves them time. And makes it more likely that they’ll actually look at your link.
After a speaking event, network with attendees and pass out your business card. Or have someone on your team do it for you.
If you like to engage on social media, make it easy for clients to find you. Give them your usernames, ids, and handles. Encourage them to contact you through these platforms and engage when they do.
Also, make sure to mention your social media at your presentations to engage potential clients in the audience. And have the list prepared for other meetings.
Use Your Speaker Superpower in Every Interaction
Influencers are masters of the spoken word on stage. But what happens when you step off that stage?
Effective communication skills are not just for speaking events. They can grab a potential client’s attention and leave long-lasting impressions. And that’s a great building block for long-lasting relationships.
Stellar communication skills also have a direct impact on how much you can charge for a speaking gig and whether you’re getting further recommendations.
You don’t have to figure it all out alone. It’s important to follow the example of others who can help you improve.
Contact Speakers Institute for more great tips about growing your speaking business. Click on one of the links below for more information:
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