The Art of Effective Communication
In large organizations, marketing often appears to be at odds with sales. One is driven by commissions, the other is focused on messaging. Real estate agents, though, are responsible for both.
Generating business requires the persuasive talents associated with marketers, while sales works to meet customer expectations and close the deal. The secret to bridging this gap effectively is communication. Whether you’re writing successful marketing copy or gathering customer requirements, your ability to craft a call to action or close a sale depends on your ability to communicate effectively.
Communication isn’t just about what you say or what you write. Nonverbal communication — visual cues such as body language — can tell you a lot about your audience and how they are receiving your message.
Here are some simple rules to help you better communicate
- Listen. When meeting new people we often feel compelled to talk — instead, listen. The marketing part of your brain might start with a long introduction and a list of past accomplishments. While these are important in certain situations, the sales part of your brain should listen and learn.
- Watch. Body language can tell you a lot about the person you talking with and how they are reacting to you. Is the person you’re meeting with comfortable? Be aware of your own body language. Are you relaxed and open? Are you listening?
- Take notes. Don’t hesitate to write down important points. When you take notes you acknowledge the value and importance of what you’re hearing.
- Audience. Calibrating your message to your audience is something marketers innately understand. You wouldn’t send the same email campaign to potential customers that you would to colleagues or other professional referral partners. When you listen and watch carefully, you’re better able to present to your audience. People can tell when they’re hearing a a scripted message. So, be yourself, and let the discussion flow naturally.
- Review. Your audience is equally important when it comes to written communication. Choose your words carefully and always review before you send.
- Be succinct. Whether you’re writing or speaking, do your best to be clear and direct. Use examples to illustrate a specific point. This is your chance to highlight past experience.
- Get acknowledgement. Always be sure that you’re being understood. Ask questions and clarify.
- Use the appropriate channel. Choosing the right channel is critical depending on the message you’re trying to get across. Texting in particular has become the default for many of us and is fine for informal communication. Don’t text or email when you should pick up the phone. A good communicator knows this.
The Bottom Line
Communication is a fundamental skill. That’s why we often take for granted our ability to communicate effectively. Remember to think before you speak, be respectful, and stay positive. In order to have a successful relationship with clients and colleagues, remain open and show that you’re listening — not thinking about what you’ll say next.
A successful real estate agent has a unique ability to blend and balance the marketer with the salesperson. The better you’re able to read your audience, the more effective your written and verbal communications will be.