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4 Ways To Fail Your Business Communication
Preparing business communication materials can be exasperating and draggy. A frequent reason for delay is hesitation when deciding the textual content, as in, what's to be written about the company? Now, you can have the most talented copywriter on hand, or go as far as to hire a consultant. Many people would still falter when it comes to making a final decision on what to put into words about one's business. In many cases, this is caused by a combination of many concerns, some personal and some ludicrous. The end result is almost always a situation of ambiguous, ineffective materials produced.
Ultimately, only you would know what's should be communicated about your company, or what's the right quantity of information to communicate. There are common mistakes to be avoided, however, and all these are a matter of common sense. Here are four classic mistakes. If you find your business communication to be ineffective, you could be guilty of one or more mistakes.
1. You tell nothing
"Welcome to XYZ Company. We are established in 2010. We sell so-and-so & so-and-so. We believe in providing only the best products at the best prices, and we operate on a philosophy of total customer satisfaction."
Yes ... ... and so?
For reasons such as information leakage to competitors, many businesses are wary about releasing information to the public. Even when it's for marketing. This is prudent, except frequently, businesses trim away so much information, they remove their identities as well. So you are XYZ Company. So you sell this and that. And so? Why should I buy from you? Why should I even remember your existence in an economy with tens of thousands of companies?
Foremost requirement. No matter how cautious you are with introducing yourself, always include a unique reason to justify starting a relationship with you. And nope. Top quality, best prices, bah humbug. These are not reasons. These are overused catchphrases. You want to be a winner, demonstrate how you have a unique winning edge. Prove to your audience right away that they have made a correct decision paying attention to your message.
2. You tell too much
The antithesis of (1). You are so-and-so company. You were established by a resourceful, intrepid, ex-WWII veteran, who saw immense opportunity while careening through the jungles of strife torn tropical Malaya. Throughout the years, you continue to crave the best methods to produce, whatever you are producing, and today you are, you are, you are ... ...
Yes, storytelling does generate impact. A good story also sticks in the mind better than raw data. But please, in appropriate situations and quantities only. It should be no more than a terse prelude to the important stuffs, which remain WHO you are, WHAT you sell, and WHY someone should buy from you. Now you might argue that having a famous personality or a business magnate in the company assists the selling process, thus the need to trumpet that. Indeed, this does help in attracting business interest. Yet, how long would it be before your clients revert to the basics? Before they tire of the fluff? In a nutshell, short and sweet. Be relevant too.
3. You are too LOUD
Beethoven's Number Nine is less grand. I'm referring to companies that believe the way to success is to inundate their collateral with endless grandiose statements. Claims, testimonials accreditation, certifications! They run a mile long, and beyond!
What these companies refuse to accept is that few people are truly stupid. Or at least, stupid for long. When you trumpet your own praises that way, how long is it before scepticism seeps in? How long before downright disbelief takes over? Things soon get colourful too when other aspects do not correspond with the claims. Wow, you claim to be endorsed by ministers and tycoons, but, er, your office is in a building marked for demolition? You claim to have managed multi-million (billion) projects, but you don't even have a full-time clerk? Or a functioning coffee machine?
Never assume your potential clients are stupid. Always respect their intelligence. Remember too that speculation and double-guessing are highly addictive pastimes. Inevitably, they lead to spiteful conclusions too.
4. Your business communication has no call to action
The contact section of any collateral is the easiest to generate. You just need to plunk in your addresses and numbers. Right?
No. Not at all. A number or an address is meaningless if unaccompanied by a call to action. The all important, Call to action.
It could be as elementary as, CALL **** **** TODAY, NOW! Or something a bit more sophisticated, such as a brief paragraph on how your consultation process is. Whichever form, there must be that bridge for interest to transit into action. An active, prominent bridge, with huge beckoning lights.
Let me add too that no call to action is going to work, unless you have a receptive system for it. So common sense applies. Proper contact details. No email accounts read only once a week. No FREE email accounts too; really makes people wonder when you claim to be a huge corporation, but use a Gmail account. If possible, have a dedicated sales line too. One of the pains of life is to call a number and explain to a surly staff why on earth you called. Or worse, having to enter an entire array of numbers into a system, before getting to speak to a human.
And oh, newer communication modes help too. Whatsapp, Facebooks, Skype, whatever. These might be a little frightening for those who aren't tech-savvy, but let's face it, many consider them requisites nowadays. Especially for tech companies.