Five words to help your comms be better this year than last

8th January 2013

When customers speak with suppliers, they think ‘your job is to improve things for me’.

But when salespeople speak with customers, some think ‘my job is to sell more’.

These two mindsets might lead to an outcome that suits both parties. But they might well not.

Clearly, you’re more likely to say the right things when you both want the same things.

So, in 2013, will you and your team be thinking – and saying – the right things? Here are three quick questions to check (your answers will only be five words):

Question 1: what your colleagues think

Think of all the messages your colleagues receive about what their #1 priority should be. For example, the topic that’s most frequently discussed in team meetings; the topic that you discuss the most; what they see you doing; how they’re bonused/paid; what their performance reviews tend to focus on; your company’s processes and procedures; what your CEO focuses on at the annual conference etc.

Given this, in two words max, what will they think their core job is (for instance: ‘sell more’, ‘speed up’, ‘cut costs’, ‘explain everything’, ‘eliminate risk’…)

Question 2: what your customers think

Now picture the people who benefit most from your team’s work – your ‘customers’.

In two words max, what is the #1 thing they want from your team? (examples might be: ‘improve me’, ‘communicate better’, ‘improve ROI’, ‘be thorough’, ‘care’…)

Question 3: The Big One

In one word max, describe how aligned your first two answers are (‘definitely’, ‘no’, ‘sometimes’)

If your answer is ‘definitely’, your comms in 2013 have a much better chance of landing every time.

But if your answer was different, it’s imperative to take action as soon as possible. For example…

Action point

There are two types of action with this Tip – the macro and micro:

  • Macro: devise ways to change the culture so your two words are more aligned with your customers’ two words. If you want some ideas how to do this, let me know and I’ll get you started
  • Micro: identify 1-2 simple changes that you and your team could make, to become more aligned with your customers. You, and they, will be delighted you did.

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