Tools to help fight the Recession
The recession is starting to bite. It’s more important than ever to ensure that businesses and their staff are good communicators. Effective communication materially contributes to the survival chances of businesses.
Consumers are watching ever more carefully how and where they spend their dollars discretionary and otherwise. A business’s ability to effectively communicate the benefits and ‘the fit’ of their products and services becomes more critical than ever as the competition increases for the available dollars.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that business people often overlook how well their staff communicate both inside, and more importantly, outside the business. Trained sales staff and marketers aside, it’s just as important that other staff members can promote the business fluently and correctly.
Think back to the last time you met somebody new for the first time. The second or third question you’re likely to be asked is, “What do you do and/or where do you work?” The well organised amongst us will normally have a small ‘sound bite’ of a reply that answers both questions. To have an effective reply ready is admirable but that’s not the point.
Once we say who we work for, in the mind of the questioner, we then become that firm or organisation. We are it and how we react, how we handle any questions about it, does effect how the questioner will think about our firm. Obviously if we make a good impression that view will be positive. Equally, being hesitant, disconcerted or lacking in confidence can create the opposite effect.
When times are tough can we afford to take the risk that one of our staff, on or off the job, may inadvertently turn off a potential sale? Foster an understanding within your firm of the qualities and positive aspects of it, its successes and the quality of its products. This is the key. It ensures that, when asked, staff will have something positive to say about your firm
This knowledge is easily provided through staff magazines, team briefs, blogs, bulletin boards and the like. The question is not how we do it, the question is do we make the time and resources available to do it?
But knowledge by itself is not enough. Staff may have plenty of knowledge and great ideas but if they are not able to articulate them, to translate them into words, then it’s as if that knowledge and those ideas never existed.
So staff may need to get some assistance with communicating their ideas. There are organisations such as service clubs, education resources like the polytechs, etc. and training providers for external and in-house training. These organisations are available to help them to acquire those skills. The more fluent, coherent and confident your staff are the more likely they will be to positively promote your business.
The spend on improving staff communication skills may well be the initiator of the revenue stream that ensures your business survival in these difficult trading times.