Business and Executive Coach Outlines the Keys to Effective Communication with Clients and Customers
Effective communication is a vital element of successful business; the ability to speak clearly and convincingly to investors, government officials, business partners and staff is an essential skill for any savvy entrepreneur.
But studies show that being able to communicate with your customers and connect with them on a personal level may be the most vital factor of all. In fact, more than half of all consumers say they choose to deal with small businesses because of the personal (and personable) service they receive; the second most important factor, behind a desire to support local business.
Dr. José Robson Sereno is a university professor, researcher, career coach, and certified Joy of Business facilitator. He believes much of his success stems from his ability to adapt his communication style to suit each individual he speaks with. “Over the past 40 years, I have learned many skills and gained a lot of knowledge, but it is my communication style that has truly helped me in my life. It is the very skill that has got me to where I am”, he remarks.
Sereno started his career as a doctor and researcher of animal reproduction but, ever the seeker, he later gained experience in a wide array of industries and environments. He is now a Joy of Business facilitator, drawing upon his vast experience in corporations, entrepreneurism, academia and coaching to help other entrepreneurs build thriving businesses.
Each day, Sereno is conversing with people as diverse as researchers and academics, students and young people, artists and performers, psychologists and therapists, lawyers, engineers and stay at home parents. He believes the first, vital step toward successful communication is to understand that everyone you meet has a different background, different values and a different outlook on life. “You must be willing to change your style to meet their communication expectations”, Sereno advises.
He offers the following tools for effective business communication:
Be fun and upbeat. According to Sereno, a lot of his communication success stems from his happy and fun disposition. “I am a pretty spontaneous, fun guy and I am happy most of the time. When I’m communication, I use jokes, smiles and hugs a lot. This lifts the energy of the communication and helps people stay connected with me more easily.”
Be flexible in your communication style. Sereno advises business owners to keep their message simple and authentic, but change the style of delivery to match their audience. “When I’m talking to students, I use a lot of casual language and modern slang. With other researchers, my style will be more academic. Know your audience, and mirror their communication style.”
Convey confidence and trust. For Sereno, integrity and authenticity are key. “I’m always speaking authentically, I never lie, so I’m always confident about what I’m saying. People pick that up. They can always tell I’m being honest.”
Engage your curiosity. “I am a researcher so of course I am naturally curious. This means that I like the challenge of finding out about lots of different topics.” Sereno maintains that natural curiosity is a powerful communication skill. “If you know a lot of things about a lot of topics, then you can engage a lot of different people in ways that are meaningful and interesting for them”, he explains.
Be direct. Sereno believes it is always best to speak up as soon as it necessary, and always be prepared to get straight to the point. “If you see an issue, bring it up. If you want to ask a question, ask it. This saves time and shows you value others’ time and energy.”
Although Sereno admits his Brazilian heritage is an advantage – “Brazilians naturally communicate spontaneously, simply and truthfully” – he is eager for entrepreneurs to understand that anyone can learn to be more effective in the way they connect and convey their message.
Jose Robson Sereno is an executive coach, researcher, university professor and certified facilitator of Joy of Business and Access Consciousness. He has an MBA in Coaching by the Brazilian Society of Coaching and Paulista College of Higher Education (FAPPES) and is trained in Gestalt Therapy and Meta-Coaching (Neuro-Sematics). Sereno is a researcher in animal reproduction and an advisor of masters and doctorate academics in animal science. He has guided more than 70 professionals in this area and has published more than 100 scientific articles.