Is it Really of Any importance to Improve your Communication Skills?
Friends, it is time to confess!
How many of you think that regular communication with client is not that important and project submission is all that matters?
Tell me, how many of you do not respond to your clients’ e-mails because you are way behind your submission deadline, and you do not know how to let your client know this?
If you are guilty doing this, beware! You are unknowingly causing havoc to your freelance career. To grow your freelance business, it is important you improve your communication skills.
You may have a great talent designing websites that make an impact, creating collaterals your competitors envy and writing codes that best designers crave. However, when it comes to communicating with your client efficiently, you lose ground!
If you fail to communicate with your client, he may not award you any project again. It will not matter – how excellent you are at your job!
Think it from this angle: you have expertise in web designing, and your client has hired you because he knows you are the best. At the same time, the fact remains that not all customers will understand the technicalities of your work. At any point in time, how would you explain him things that are confusing him?
Possessing good communication skills – including good English writing and speaking skills, is important to help you have a healthy relationship with your non-technical clients. This kind of customers may not be good with coding and stuff like that but are efficient business owners who know how to stay ahead in the market.
In this post, we shall share some tips and practices to follow and some sins to avoid! Let’s go through these tips on how to improve your communication skills. Read on:
Improve your Communication Skills: English Writing & Speaking Skills
Freelancing is all about find the right client who is need of your skills and is ready to pay a decent amount for it.
How do find that perfect client? You have to make the right effort and choose the right platform to find your client. And all this requires good command over The English language.
Only when your English writing skills and English speaking skills are good, you’ll be able to present yourself professionally.
To find clients, you need to spend at least a couple of hours on best freelancing websites and doing this will again require you to possess good English writing skills. To win a project on freelance websites, you need to place a proposal that highlights your forte. Writing the correct proposal is most important when bidding on any project.
To build their circle, freelancers need to make a circle, join communities, participate in forums and so on. All this works to spread the credibility of a freelancer. Moreover, needless to say, doing all this will need the freelancers to have enough proficiency in The English language.
There are online training courses that help freelancers hone their skills. Again this requires a good command of the English language.
So you see English is a quintessential language – if you want to succeed as a freelancer, you have to acquire English writing as well as English speaking skills.
Effective email communication
You may not be aware, but the fact is, when at work, you are communicating all day long – writing emails, participating in meetings and conference calls, giving presentations, delivering strategies, etc.
However, how often do you think if your messages were clear and well-constructed?
An essential aspect of communication is clarity.
You should be clear about your message to the client while writing an email or speaking to him. Remember your message should be straightforward and easy to understand – ensure the customer do not have to run behind the bushes to understand what you are trying to say.
Here’s an example:
I wanted to talk about our next project together. The project is undoubtedly great. But I have certain ideas which I would like you to think upon. I would share my ideas when you have time.
Points to be noted: Did you understand the overall message behind this email. The client has some upcoming projects. Which project is Clark talking about?
Next, why is the project so great? We are not able to understand it either. The email is so vague that Steve will have to write to Clark back and get details of what he is trying to say.
Lastly, what is the goal of writing this email?
Does Clark only wants to share his ideas on the project or he has some concerns relating to launch, deliverable, financial, and other factors about the project. The entire email is obscure and confusing.
Example of Effective Communication followed by best freelancers:
I wanted to talk about the upcoming Tours & Travel Website project that you are planning to launch this winter. The project is great, and it will undoubtedly redefine the way people plan their travel.
However, I have certain questions regarding the deliverable. No matter how quick we try to wrap up things, tasks like web development, content optimization, content marketing and the explainer video will require effort and dedication and that would require a good amount of time.
Don’t you think we should push the deadline a bit further instead of completing tasks in a rush?
I would like to speak with you on this matter. Please let me know when is the best time I can call you and discuss this further.
Don’t you think: The second email is more efficient and clearer than the previous email?
In your email to the client, try to avoid words that make the sentence unnecessarily longer and complex. Try avoiding words like – “for example,” “you see,” “surely,” “type of,”.
Before sending the email to the client, run through the text properly. Spelling and grammatical errors are a complete no-no.
Be courteous and complete when you communicate with your client
Best freelancers consider their client to be an angel – the one brings them a fortune, name, and fame. It is, therefore, crucial that you be courteous to your customer whenever you speak with and write to him.
Below is an example of an email which you should never craft:
I am writing this letter to let you know that your accounts team is attempting to monopolize the points we discussed in your last con-call. I have some assignments, and I really lack time to do regular follow-ups and that too with yields no results. Can you ensure that your accounts team clear things up so that we may proceed further with our next deliverable?
Undoubtedly, this is not a courteous email in any way.
This is how Rozario should have written the email to make the communication more efficient:
I am writing this letter to request a favour from you.
During last moth’s conference call, your accounts team did an excellent job analyzing project deliverable. However, the team was supposed to share with the final project status on the basis of which the payment to be done. However, I guess they are occupied with things that give them little time to work on this.
I would appreciate if you could check with them on when they are sending the progress report.
Thanks, a lot!
This email is courteous and gives the client a real expression about the freelancer.
Improve your English speaking skills
Freelancers having excellent English communication skills build quick rapport with the customer that makes the client award frequent projects.
When you are speaking to your client do not speak too hurriedly – the client may not be able to decipher what you are trying to say which may annoy him. Besides, there are chances that you may make grave mistakes while speaking too fast.
Be slow when talking to the client. It is more important to speak clearly so that your customer understands the message quickly.
You may never realize how usage of inappropriate words can affect your freelance business.
Melinda Makkos is an English Language teacher from London, England has written a beautiful article on ways to improve your English communication skills.
Never seem demanding when speaking to your client.
This is an important tip for improving your communication skills with your freelance client.
You should never say “Give me an extension of project deadline.” This may not go well with your customer, and he may decide not to continue with you.
Instead, be polite and make a request by saying “I would like to request some extension in the project deadline” or “I would appreciate it if you could extend the project deadline.”
As a freelancer, the only thing that should run through your brain is client satisfaction. He is your angel, and you cannot afford to lose the customer for simple negligence while speaking.
Measure each word before uttering it in front of the customer. Ensure that neither the words used nor the tone is derogatory or offensive.
For instance, never use the phrase “I need”. It sounds too bossy and gives the message that what you need is most important than anything, even the project!
Instead of “I need” use the phrase “could you please…” like “could you please give me the reference links to help me understand the topic clearly?”
At Business Labs, you can learn more about efficient communication and many other skills from experts. Join the Clan and connect to the experts.
Speak what your client understands
Remember like any business, freelancing also requires diligent efforts towards customer satisfaction.
Apart from good work, client satisfaction also comes from your ability to communicate professionally with the customer. Understand what is necessary for the client and communicate with him about this. However, do so in a manner that will help him understand what you are trying to put across.
For example: You are a web designer, you do not have to use technical jargons to explain him the features of a particular CMS that will be beneficial for his website.
Instead, explain to him how these features will enhance user experiences and hence be beneficial for his business.
Regular communication with your previous clients
Your client is your customer whom you sell your expertise for an agreed value. You deliver the work, the client reviews it, finds it right and pays you the fee.
Does your dealings with the customer end here? Ideally it should not.
If your client likes your work, the chances are high that he will reward you another project. Just stay in touch, communicate well and see if you could work on his next project. It is important that you improve your communication skills to grow your freelance business.
Stay in touch with all your previous clients. Send them greetings, congratulate them on their success and call them up at least once in a month. Remain in touch through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other sites.
This will help you build rapport with the client that many bring recurring business.
Follow their websites and keep an eye on their social media profiles to understand what they are planning next and if there’s anything that suits your expertise. If you find there is room for your skills, follow up with the client and ask him if you could work on their next project.
Regular communication with ongoing client
Keeping the client updated on project status is imperative. Best freelancers give focus to status check while working on the project. They make it a point to email and inform the client about the progress of the project.
One tip to build goodwill is to make sure that you are the one who connects first – send him regular emails about project status and other inputs that you think the client should consider.
Other communication skills to influence your clients
When you are making efforts to improve your communication skills, pay attention to this also: your movement and gestures are imperative. When your client is speaking with you, nod your head instead of continuously looking at your customers’ face. When you nod your head, the client knows that you are paying attention to, and you agree what he is trying to say.
Never argue with your customer.
Remember the customer is always right.
If you attempt to prove your client wrong, there are high chances that he would take a backseat and not award you a project. If you strongly disagree with something, put it in a polite manner to the client and let him make the final call. This way you give him the importance and protect your goodwill too.
Effective communication also involves the art of listening.
Be patient and listen to what your client is saying. Do not interrupt. Allow him to complete and then you may say what you want to.
It is crucial that you make a steady eye contact when your client is speaking with you. Looking hither and thither will only demean the customer.
So, Do you want to avail expert guidance on effective communication with clients? Contact us and let us discuss how can we help you. Contact us here
How effective is your communication skills?
What strategies did you employ to communicate effectively with your client?
You too need a Great Communicator for your business. Someone who can help you with content on your email templates, your website related content or even your sales script content. I advise you to hire Ms. Bhavna Shah or Ms. Aditi Nayak. These two writers are dedicated and time-tested among the Talent Clan of Business Labs. They have worked with us on our in-house projects and for other clients too.
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