Research shows that in general, in a business setting, both men and women want to know the exit to a conversation BEFORE they feel safe to actually engage in it.
3 Helpful Hints:
- Let others know if the conversation will be painful.
- Let others know how long the conversation will take.
- Let others know the end result you are asking for.
Think about starting a business conversation like this: “I realize how busy you are so I will only need one minute of your time to let you know about __________.”
This is especially helpful if you are making phone calls, so the person on the other end can relax and listen, knowing it won’t take long and knowing what the conversation will be about. Plus, they are less likely to make an excuse as to why they can’t talk.
Another option (especially for sales teams) is starting a conversation like this: “I realize that your time is very valuable so I will only need two minutes to schedule a time for a second call where I can do a 10-minute demonstration of our ___________.”
Here are some other things to consider during communication:
- Facial expressions
- Tone of voice
- Words you say
Be very self-aware of how you are speaking to others. Even practice these when talking on the phone; it actually does make a difference.
Communicating successfully comes with practice and consistent attention and effort. It is a skill to learn, and we cannot afford to overlook it.