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  • #1000221
    MaddisonJ
    Member
    • Total posts: 9

    Hi all,

    I am currently in the process of designing a business that encourages customers to create lasting change in their lives when it comes to fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, and wellness.
    My business would mostly be an online platform but will have some face-to-face communication when completing personal and group training.

    My question is to ALL business owners… what are your TIPS and ADVICE when it comes to good communication?
    What skills do you believe are required in business?
    How do you communicate with customers?
    LASTLY, what has worked and/or not worked in the past for you and your business when it comes to customer communication?

    Thank-you all. I look forward to learning from you,
    Kind regards,
    Maddison.

    #1223430
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,127

    Among my favourites are:

    • Provide customer choice about how to contact you. They will choose the one they are comfortable with.
    • Reply fast and on the same platform that the customer contacted you on.
    • Related to the first two above, don’t provide a channel of communication if you can’t support it.
    • Be clear about the subject matters you can support and those you can’t. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
    • Have templates for key points (they help to clarify your thoughts) just to save time but customise them when actually responding to specific queries.
    • Listen 2/3rds, reply 1/3rd.
    • Ask for clarification when the customer is not 100% clear.
    • Learn paraphrasing and repeat back to the customer, what your understanding of what they are asking you is.
    • Deliver on what you promise and then let the customer know you have eg, “At the start of this program, I promised you I would….”
    • Under promise and over deliver eg on the time it takes to send a proposal.

    I hope that provokes you to more thought.

    Cheers

    #1223431
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227

    Hi Maddison, Good luck in your new venture! I think one area that I have issues with and I think you may have even bigger issues with is “free advice”. You need to figure out how much time you are willing to give for free and how you can constructively channel that into accessible information. I go into a great bit of detail, have blog articles, product descriptions with tons of info, etc so that the information is readily available. However lots of people scrolling on their phones don’t read it and prefer to hear it from a live person. I spend a lot of unproductive time answering questions that the answers to are in writing and waiting while people literally scroll through my site and load pages.

    In your case I would consider doing weekly webinars or something similar where you could get three or four potential customers dipping their toes in but there is a time limit and you control how detailed the info you provide is. The alternative is lengthy free personal consultations or even worse someone feeling you’ve been curt by not giving them advice.

    Ann

    #1223432
    Greg_M
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,691

    Always be truthful
    Provide value for money
    Over deliver on service

    #1223433
    PowerofWords
    Member
    • Total posts: 179
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 270023, member: 6734 wrote:
    Hi I go into a great bit of detail, have blog articles, product descriptions with tons of info, etc so that the information is readily available. However lots of people scrolling on their phones don’t read it and prefer to hear it from a live person. I spend a lot of unproductive time answering questions that the answers to are in writing and waiting while people literally scroll through my site and load pages.

    In your case I would consider doing weekly webinars or something similar where you could get three or four potential customers dipping their toes in but there is a time limit and you control how detailed the info you provide is. The alternative is lengthy free personal consultations or even worse someone feeling you’ve been curt by not giving them advice.

    Ann
    In your answer, Ann, you have a problem and I believe you could try a web chat app. It feels more personal than just reading the site but you can put some links on it to direct the usual enquiries – plus coming back to answer their query when you can (i.e. take off your number). I am trialling a Hubspot chat for this but there are many others as well, to free up your time.

    Besides the chat and blog, I communicate via email and phone or Zoom. Seems to be easy enough, and I use phone when there are any chances of unclear communication or issues.

    #1223434
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227
    PowerofWords, post: 270072, member: 979 wrote:
    In your answer, Ann, you have a problem and I believe you could try a web chat app. It feels more personal than just reading the site but you can put some links on it to direct the usual enquiries – plus coming back to answer their query when you can (i.e. take off your number). I am trialling a Hubspot chat for this but there are many others as well, to free up your time.

    Besides the chat and blog, I communicate via email and phone or Zoom. Seems to be easy enough, and I use phone when there are any chances of unclear communication or issues.

    Thanks, already have a zopim chat on the website but as we’re a nursery and microbusiness I’m not always sitting at the computer. I need to channel my energy into a productive use of time otherwise I’d be working 24/7. I’d rather not answer the phone at 7am than to get stuck scrolling through my website with someone. I also prefer to have clear concise information available to cut back on miscommunication that can come with verbal chats.

    I think every business is different in their needs and business owners at different points of their lives will use different strategies in time management. I’m at the point where my time is precious to me :0

    #1223435
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    As Greg said honesty is number 1.

    But also don’t give negative comments about your competition, so many business’s do this just to make themselves sound better. If you cant sell yourself on your own abilities, don’t go down into the gutter by baging the opposition. Even if a client says that ABC does a bad job, and even if I agree with them, I never verbally agree or get into a discussion about it. Just my own personal integrity wont let me. But I will also often recommend some of my competition (if they are good) if I don’t offer that exact service or am to busy, potential clients remember those things, I have had some come back saying that I helped them out, can I take on a job this time.

    Remain positive, I refuse to deal with business’s who are negative

    #1223436
    El Arish Tropical Exotics
    Member
    • Total posts: 227
    bb1, post: 270074, member: 53375 wrote:
    As Greg said honesty is number 1.

    But also don’t give negative comments about your competition, so many business’s do this just to make themselves sound better. If you cant sell yourself on your own abilities, don’t go down into the gutter by baging the opposition. Even if a client says that ABC does a bad job, and even if I agree with them, I never verbally agree or get into a discussion about it. Just my own personal integrity wont let me. But I will also often recommend some of my competition (if they are good) if I don’t offer that exact service or am to busy, potential clients remember those things, I have had some come back saying that I helped them out, can I take on a job this time.

    Remain positive, I refuse to deal with business’s who are negative

    Great advice! There is something to be said for creating symbiotic relationships with your business peers.

    #1223437
    JamesMillar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,676

    Be authentic and be patient. Building trust takes time and generally I find the people that want to rush things are more concerned with their own business interests than those of their customers. Achieving your sales targets is not the customer’s problem.

    #1223438
    MH08
    Member
    • Total posts: 284

    I’ve mentioned this in previous posts, but how do you speak to friends or when you meet friends of friends? Ask the hard questions too to find out what, how, why customers choose you.

    I’ve always had a belief that if it’s my own product, I don’t have competition and if you believe that deeply it will come out when dealing with customers/clients.

    I could give a laundry list on rebuttals and closing but anyone can give you a recipe but it might not taste the same as Jamie Olivers, so take pieces of what you need and use intuitiveness to be better on how you would do it. There’s no secret sauce to business, its pretty basic actually, its fear that holds people back for whatever reason. Think about next time when playing cards for money and you want to leave early, all of a sudden your always winning? Cause the fear is gone, even though the calculated risk is that you won’t throw the cards in to not lose friends as well.

    The only piece of advice I tell most starting, always set the frame with customers from the beginning, if you suspect they want it cheap, bring out all the negatives at the start of the conversation so they have no ammunition at the end to use against you. By doing this it puts them in a frame of mind that your time is not meant to be wasted, but with cotton gloves.

    Walk and talk like you have a million clients and millions coming through but in turn be humble and never be arrogant, though there is a time and place for it, you do have the right to be rude to a customer if they are being rude to you.

    #1223439
    MaddisonJ
    Member
    • Total posts: 9
    El Arish Tropical Exotics, post: 270023, member: 6734 wrote:
    Hi Maddison, Good luck in your new venture! I think one area that I have issues with and I think you may have even bigger issues with is “free advice”. You need to figure out how much time you are willing to give for free and how you can constructively channel that into accessible information. I go into a great bit of detail, have blog articles, product descriptions with tons of info, etc so that the information is readily available. However lots of people scrolling on their phones don’t read it and prefer to hear it from a live person. I spend a lot of unproductive time answering questions that the answers to are in writing and waiting while people literally scroll through my site and load pages.

    In your case I would consider doing weekly webinars or something similar where you could get three or four potential customers dipping their toes in but there is a time limit and you control how detailed the info you provide is. The alternative is lengthy free personal consultations or even worse someone feeling you’ve been curt by not giving them advice.

    Ann
    Thank you very much for your advice. This is certainly a point that I truly appreciate hearing. Thank you for your own personal experience as well. I will have a long think about your points.

    #1223440
    MaddisonJ
    Member
    • Total posts: 9
    bb1, post: 270074, member: 53375 wrote:
    As Greg said honesty is number 1.

    But also don’t give negative comments about your competition, so many business’s do this just to make themselves sound better. If you cant sell yourself on your own abilities, don’t go down into the gutter by baging the opposition. Even if a client says that ABC does a bad job, and even if I agree with them, I never verbally agree or get into a discussion about it. Just my own personal integrity wont let me. But I will also often recommend some of my competition (if they are good) if I don’t offer that exact service or am to busy, potential clients remember those things, I have had some come back saying that I helped them out, can I take on a job this time.

    Remain positive, I refuse to deal with businesses who are negative
    Thank you for this advice, I agree with this completely. There is enough negativity out there and other people are trying just as much as you to establish themselves. Thank you for your advice.

    #1223441
    MaddisonJ
    Member
    • Total posts: 9

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply to me and giving me solid advice that I can think about and apply where needed. I really appreciated hearing about your own ventures also. It is wonderful to hear from people who are learning and doing what they love.

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