Communicating for Clarity. Managing Expectations. Establishing a Relationship.
Providing services nationwide today is easier than ever. Except when it’s not.
Voices make us human
When I receive an email with detailed instructions I can jump right in and get started. A decade ago, a phone call was still typically required to get clarity. A short conversation confirmed expectations. Those phone calls also helped build professional relationships and foster understanding.
Today, I use my phone less often. And sometimes I wish we could go back to the days of a quick call. We all say, contact me if you have any questions. But we don’t think we have questions, so we don’t call. Or we don’t call because we don’t want to bother someone.
Managing expectations saves time
Through phone conversations, we can begin to understand how individuals communicate. A back and forth dialogue allows us to get greater clarity. A conversation allows us to go through the process of hearing and understanding what our clients want and what they need. Sometimes a conversation helps everyone envision and formulate the final output of a request. Conversation also allows us to better manage expectations – you say you want this, but your budget doesn’t support that, so you can have this.
Our best work is done when lines of communication are open in both directions. When our client trusts our expertise, and we understand their needs, we are drafting and mapping rock stars. (or: we can deliver a better product)
Communication fosters understanding
I like to meet people where they are, find out how they prefer to move through the process and then – help them, to help me, get them exactly what they need. There is no right way or wrong way. The goal is to make the process more efficient. It takes a little time, and patience, and effort up front, but in the long run – the payoff is huge.
The question is: How do we get people to pick up the phone and talk?