We all know how important it is for a business to master great customer and stakeholder communication through all touch points. If your interactions have a positive impact, you’re more likely to create repeat customers and gain access to the ‘holy grail’ of sales: referrals to others. Get it wrong, however, and it won’t matter if your business offers great products and services – it will struggle.
These are my top ten communication tips for small businesses:
1. Use the language of your market: I’m on a one-woman campaign against jargon. You might sound clever but your market doesn’t understand or relate to you. I wrote the worlds first childbirth education program specifically for men. It was a roaring success because I wrote it in man-speak. And I hosted it at the pub.
2. Be consistent in your communications: Develop a personality for your business and stick to it across all communication including your email footers, your website, the way you answer the phone. If you position yourself as a particularly friendly and fun business, for instance, make sure all interactions with you are friendly and fun, from the signs in your toilets to the message on the bottom of your receipt and your after hours message. This is all communication not to be overlooked.
3. Don’t drown people with words: Every word needs to audition to get into your brochure or your website. Don’t use empty words. Unique and gourmet are two of the most overused empty words of all time.
4. Drop the sales pitch and write in a conversational way: No one likes to be flogged to so mind your marketing language.
5. Your personal presentation skills apply from staff meeting to corporate function: Use eye contact, pace and humour. I’ve met so many people that hate presenting but it’s a crucial skill and one worth investing in.
6. Know your content off by heart and never read your speech: I have walked out of speeches that were being read to the audience. I can read – email it to me instead, put us out of misery and we can all go and have a drink. Your conversational speaking voice is much easier to follow than your reading voice.
7. Use stories to make your point: It’s the stories that will be remembered. I work in Cambodia and once I saw a woman climbing up a bamboo ladder on a building site carrying an enormous basket of bricks on her back. Strapped to her chest was a newborn baby. I use that story to illustrate determination, grit and humanity where women bare the brunt of poverty. Use stories that move or entertain you and your audience will feel the same.
8. Choose your social media platforms carefully: You’re better off doing two really well than four half arsed.
9. Know what to post on social media: All social media platforms have an algorithm which decides which content is seen and by whom. In a nutshell the algorithms are trying to deliver the content people want to see. So create the content people want to see. Don’t post your opening times or pricelist on Facebook. Post content people will want to share.
10. Do some key word research on your business: The words you use to describe what you do may be completely different to the words your market uses. I built a website for a plastic surgeon who referred to what he did as ‘breast augmentation’. We used google.com/trends to research this phrase and found the market was actually using the term ‘boob job’ to find a plastic surgeon. We altered our key words and title tags accordingly for a better ranking website.
About the author:
Lucy Perry is the CEO of Sunrise Cambodia. She’s a rule breaker, idea maker and master communicator with a background in advertising and a track record in creating social momentum. She’s an international keynote speaker and is the first and only Australian listed in the world’s top 30 #socialCEOs.
LikeaBOSS (Sydney, 2 Sept)
Lucy is speaking in Sydney on 2 September at ‘LikeaBOSS’ – a one-day live event designed to improve your digital and presentation skills, fast. World-class speakers include Lucy Perry, Catherine Deveny, Jonah De Vries, Bernard Salt and speakers from Instagram and Google HQ. Learn from the best in the business how to write and present a killer speech that will put your audience in the palm of your hand, use the science of humour to create the most shared social media content ever, and hear what the future holds for the fastest growing social platform in the world. All proceeds go to Sunrise Cambodia so you can up-skill and change the world at the same time. Get your tickets from likeaboss.org.au.