I recently wrote about being understood and communication. This entire process of talking, listening, understanding – communicating is so important that I want to discuss it again.
It is the foundation for all marketing and sales.
Without successful two-way communication – your marketing and sales efforts will be totally ineffective.
Dennis told me he was having a problem with a long-time client. They had a difference of opinion and had eventually stopped talking. The client was still doing business with the firm but Dennis and he still don't talk.
Today, Dennis told me they started talking again and they had a meeting earlier this week. I asked, "So, you resolved your problem?" "No," Dennis said, "We're just ignoring it. But, we are talking."
I agree with Dennis, they are talking – but they are not communicating. Because communicating requires both parties to listen and to understand what the other person is saying. In this instance, talking but not listening to how both parties feel about the original problem is likely to lead to further dissonance.
If establishing a business relationship is like dating, then maintaining the relationship is similar to maintaining a healthy marriage. All relationships experience conflict. How we deal with that conflict will determine the viability of our relationships – business and personal.
Communication requires good transmission skills. Too often we believe we are making our point while at the same time, the listener is hearing something totally different. Frustration escalates on everyone's part when the listener responds to what they thought they heard or interpreted.
As the listener, it is your job to be absolutely certain that you understand what the talker is saying. And, you need to communicate that understanding back to the talker. And, then change roles.
If you still feel like you are not being understood or that you don't understand what you've heard, you may need a third party to help. Better to engage a consultant to assist you than to allow a good relationship to deteriorate.