Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Communication is really the two-way street that is often times derailed by a one way sign!
What does this mean? Let's find out with this quick exercise:
Hold up 5 fingers. Now put one down for every time you've experienced any of the following:
1. You receive a service or sales pitch and before you can ask any questions, you hear "OK. Sign here and we'll get you started".
2. You make an immediate purchase. You try to redeem the gift card you were promised only to realize you can't until you sell your birth right and wait for the next turn of the century.
3. You're standing in line with 5 customers in front of you, 10 minutes before closing. You're next and hit with the dreaded, 'Sorry this lane is closed'.
4. You're in a training for hours with questions swimming around in your head and the facilitator announces, "We only have time for one more question". Unfortunately, it wasn't your question.
5. You take the day off to wait for your 'free' installation and realize the 'one time' service charge of $299 was in fact not 'free'.
If you put down even 1 finger, yep, you were taken down the one way street of communication!
Try these tips to set the stage for two-way communication:
Be preemptive!: Email your list of questions ahead of the meeting, training, consultation, etc. to guide the conversation.
Make direct statements vs asking open ended questions: "Please walk me through the steps on redeeming my gift card." vs "Could you tell more about this special offer?"
Turn wonder into reality: "Will you have time to help me with it being so close to closing?"
Be intentional: Set 'upfront' expectations.
The Devil is in the details: Read the fine print and ask about the 'catch'.
Hope this helps!