Last week I had two conversations with potential clients and both of them fell flat. Was it a personal connection problem? Nope. Was it an issue with money or timing? Nope. Was the service I have to offer not a fit? Nope.
It was a lack of clarity. I lost out on several thousand dollars of business because I wasn’t clear on what I had to offer and the expected results. Honestly, that sucks. This is something that happens to us more often than I think we realize.
With family, we aren’t clear about what we want or don’t want. With employees, we aren’t clear on our expectations. With prospects, we fail to communicate the value of what we have to offer. This results in you losing and the other person or people losing too.
Why should you care about my failed prospecting?
Whether it’s customers, clients, or employees clarity always resolves resistance. Think with me for a moment the last time you felt resistance from an employee or prospect. Did the resistance have to do with poor communication? Not communicating the message enough? It’s not always a lack of clarity, sometimes things don’t line up. But resistance is always there when we don’t communicate well.
Think of poor communication like handing someone a muddy glass of water. Nobody wants to drink your muddy water, they will definitely resist.
When you share crystal clear water with people, they are more than happy to accept the water (information).
Patrick Lencioni, author of “The Advantage,” does a great job explaining the importance of over-communicating in this video. (Don’t worry, it’s less than 90-seconds.)
Did you catch what he said? Sometimes you have to communicate something 7 times. We all need the message to be reinforced. Every time you communicate the message, the water is getting more filtered and they are getting closer to accepting the message.
How do we do this practically?
- With employees, you can share whatever your message is once per month during a meeting. Change up how you present the information. Communicate visually, audibly, and in writing.
- Communicate and demonstrate the importance of collaboration by publicly acknowledging those who do this well and do it well yourself. Ask them to do this for one another.
- Continue to highlight the goal the team is working on. Bring it up at every meeting. Use images, graphs, ask them to summarize the goal(s).
- Get your message clear and share it concisely through social media, networking, and one-to-one conversations. Use video, audio, and text.
- Don’t expect people to “get it” the first time. Follow-up with questions and more simple info to help them understand the value. Share PDFs, videos, free info, etc.
- Show them the results other people received by working with you. Share this via testimonies, data, and the like.
- Ask them what they are getting out of your service or product to help them see the value.
- Show them to progress they’ve made by working with you.
- Remind them of the original reasons or goals they had in working with you.
What all of this does is creates clarity around the purpose of the meetings, calls, conversations, and cost which limits confusion and resistance. Ultimately, helping them see the value in what you are offering or suggesting.
Create Clarity And Limit Resistance By…
In summary, over-communicate to create clarity and limit resistance. You can do this by getting the message you want to communicate to be concise and clear. Repeat the message to the client, prospect, or employee many times and in different ways. Have them communicate the message, goal, etc. back to you to help them to better understand.