- Pandemic encourages shifts to new platforms and new styles of communication with clients, colleagues, families and friends
- Handbook’s table of content includes
- Communicating with Clients
- Communicating with Colleagues
- Communication for Productivity
- Communication for Marketing
- Communication for Self-Talk
- Part I covers Communicating Clients and Colleagues
Communicating with Clients – Deal Maker or Deal Breaker
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Your abilities to communicate effectively, communicate empathy and communicated emotional intelligence (all fundamentally important) begin with your ability to listen. Let your prospective client know how important they are to you rather than your telling them how important your background, accomplishments and experience are by listening to them.
Ask them questions that are relevant to them such as what their housing needs are, what their time frame is, what their life style and location preferences are…their answers will then tell you how your background, expertise and market knowledge will help and apply to them.
By knowing your prospective clients’ needs/time frames/preferences are, you can then facilitate their needs. Of course, their decisions are their decisions, not yours.
Asking questions is one thing…asking open-ended questions is another. No questions that elicit Yes or No answers. Open-ended questions allow and enable your prospects to really think about what you’re asking them. Open-ended questions signal your interest in them…they tell your prospects that you care about their answers and that, in turn, you care about them.
Listen to how your prospects communicate with you. Are they light-hearted and easy going? Are they more reserved? Are they serious and matter-of-fact? Try to mirror their communication style so they feel comfortable communicating with you.
Also, does a prospect have a preference for emails, texting, phone calls? Ask them…they will tell you and then offer them that method of communication all the while keeping the door wide open to direct communications via Face Time, Zoom, phone call, etc.
Lastly, the more emotionally intelligent you are, the better. We’ve recently posted material about EQ so cultivate your own self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills via journal writing, counseling, self-help books, meditation, mindfulness training, etc. to become a better communicator and facilitator.
Communicating with Colleagues
Of course, communicating with your colleagues is based upon the same foundational principles of communicating with your clients – listening, facilitating, asking open-ended questions, mirroring communication styles and preferences and emotional intelligence. Now, add all of these foundational elements to communications platforms such as Zoom, Face Time, texting, emails and your collaborative and negotiating skills will take off.
You want and need to be personally and professionally engaging. Ask about and remember personal details such as family information, personal interests such as sports and/or opera, children’s names, etc. without assuming over familiarity.
If ever there is a question about a colleague’s decision, ask that question constructively. If proposing a solution, make the solution a constructive one with strategies and actionable insights. Also include yourself in the construction solution – you, most likely, are not perfect.
If you have some sort of niche-specific expertise to add to a solution, offer that expertise from a collegial perspective. No one responds well to condescending instruction.
If/when a mistake/conflict happens, deal with it honestly and constructively…the sooner the better. If the mistake is yours, be honest and apologize. If the mistake is someone else’s, be honest and ask what you can do to help correct or improve the situation. No explaining – No excuses.
Inman references the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for help in resolving conflict:
- Empathic listening to grasp your colleague’s point of view
- Parroting or repeating your colleague’s point of view so they know they’ve been heard and understood
- Reward or acknowledge your colleague’s point of view so you can clarify/discuss the situation or agree to disagree
To read the whole guide, click https://www.inman.com/2020/06/29/the-inman-handbook-on-communicating-in-our-new-normal/?utm_source=inbriefselect&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inbrief&utm_content=804033_textlink_5_20200629