By: Sabrina Lapointe, Senior Communications Coordinator
Communicating is something we all do throughout our day and yet few of us have actually perfected the art.
Here five ways we can start working on improving our skills.
1. Be authentic
Humans best connect with natural conversation. Share experiences and stories with your clients, show them you too, have been through the home-buying or selling process. In doing so, you’re establishing rapport and building trust.
2. Be aware of your body language
Communication goes beyond the words you choose to use. An important part of communication is your body language. Consider the way you are standing. Are your arms crossed? Are you facing your clients? What is your posture like? Are you maintaining good eye contact? These are all things your client will pick up on, subconsciously or not. For example, did you know, that by slightly leaning in when your client is speaking, you're demonstrating attentiveness? You can also incorporate affirmative movements such as nodding your head or smiling. This signals to your client that you are actively listening and engaged in what they are saying. Check here for more tips on body language.
3. Avoid distraction
Nothing disrupts a conversation quite like a loud cell phone ringer. Be sure to silence your cell phone. Forget about your inbox for the time being and give your client your undivided attention. It isn’t easy to keep electronics away when so much of our lives exist inside them. I’ll be the first to admit, I find myself resisting the urge to check my phone as I feel it buzzing in my pocket, however, the more you focus on the person in front of you, the more they will grow to trust you.
4. Identify the best mode of communication for each client
Everyone is different. Don’t assume your client prefers whatever mode of communication you prefer. Taking the extra step to ask your client if they would prefer a phon
e call, text, email or even an in-person meeting shows you are considering their personal lives and what works best for them in terms of their communication.
5. Keep it short and sweet
According to e-newsletter usability studies conducted by Nielsen Norman Group’s (NNG), the preferred length for an e-newsletter is 200 words. Apply that same number to your emails/texts to your clients. Be concise, specific and to the point. Less is more in this case.
Here’s an exercise for you. Try honing in on one skill in particular you seem to be the weakest in and really push to make that weakness, a new strength. Try journaling your interactions with clients for a week. Write down what communication skills you think you execute well and which ones you're still working on. This will help hold you accountable and allow you to keep track of your progress.