By John Carroll
My name is not “Hey!” Got it? Don’t waste your time sending me emails or tweets, or other communication addressed to “Hey.” Guess what? They go directly into the great repository in the Cloud and never get opened.
How can you be more effective at communicating with the audience you are trying to reach?
The key is to find common ground to allow communication to occur naturally and seamlessly. For this to happen, you must first learn more about the audience you are trying to reach. How do they communicate today and in what form do they like to receive information from others? Also, what does your targeted audience like, or dislike, when dealing with people outside their inner circle?
Finally, is there a language barrier that must be overcome to ensure your message is getting through? It has been written in song that “music is the universal language and love is the key”. However, in the business world, it’s not that straightforward. There are 6,912 main languages and 39,491 alternate language names and dialects worldwide. Add to this all the social media jargon (OMG, LOL, #hashtags, etc.) and that’s a lot to deal with when you are trying to start a conversation with the broader marketplace.
What should you do (or change) to ensure that your message not only gets through to the intended audience, but is well received and acted upon?
This can represent a major challenge for many businesses attempting to enter foreign markets either regionally or globally that are unfamiliar with local customs, languages and preferences. Here are some tips that will help you improve communication with prospects, clients, partners and suppliers in any market space.
Know your audience. Take time to get to know me before you send out the first email, tweet or other communication, or ask me to “Like” your business page on Facebook. People do business with people they know, like and trust. If you don’t take the time to know me and build that bond of trust, then the answer will always be “No” or a no response (nothing).
Tailor the message to your audience. Don’t leave them scratching their heads thinking, “Why am I receiving this correspondence,” or “Are they talking to me?” Be interesting and leave no doubt in their minds that this communication is meant for them.
Have something important to say (and say it well). You don’t have to be a great writer to develop content that resonates with your audience. Speak from the heart and your knowledge of the topic and your experience and the value will show through.
Be respectful of their time. Time is money so net it out! Please, no lengthy sales letters. Give them a summary overview with links to the details so they have access to more information, if needed. Always stay on topic while moving the conversation (and the relationship) forward.
Keep the content fresh. You will want to periodically change up your headlines, offer, content and other elements to maintain interest and keep them coming back for more. Make sure to include a call to action so they know next steps when they are ready to engage.
Don’t over communicate. I don’t want to see the same tweet or post 5 or 6 times per day on Twitter, Facebook and other social media from the same source. Refer to #4 above. Send out messages on different days and at different times to ensure they’re seen by a broader audience, and are not viewed as overkill or spamming.
Select the right media. How does your target audience like to receive communications from third parties – phone, email, text, social media? If you don’t know, find out. Choosing the right media will enable you to not only reach a broader audience, but could also dramatically improve response rates.
Want to have great conversations with your target audience that will lead to successful future business relationships? Find that common ground to enable you to rise above the noise and establish those seamless conversations, regardless of the language, communication and media challenges.
What you say and how you say it ultimately creates a lasting perception, either good or bad, of you and your business. Before hitting the send button, make sure it’s a great message!
John Carroll is a business and leadership strategist who works with business leaders to help them ‘achieve the results to move beyond their vision.’ He is a best-selling author, educator, blogger and speaker. Email John at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at http://www.trescoach.com/.
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