You’re Speaking My Language!

You're Speaking My Language“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.” ~Stephen Covey

 

Being understood is a universal need for all of us, isn’t it? If we can speak and articulate our needs, our thoughts, our desires, then we have a chance of getting those needs, thoughts, and desires met. If we don’t communicate effectively, chances are things are probably showing up as a struggle for us in our lives. So if we need to be understood and our clients need to be understood, what are some ways that our communication strategies can boost our marketing effectiveness?

 

Like, know, and trust.

 

When we communicate effectively, people begin to like, know, and trust us. We’ve talked about this “like, know, and trust” factor many times before. If we’re going to compete in the business world on more than just a price standpoint, this is where it’s at. When your clients like, know, and trust you, the value of your products and services is going to go up. And following that increase in value is a willingness to open the wallet and spend money with you.

 

How do we cultivate this “like, know, and trust” factor?

 

Be yourself. What is your unique voice? Well, when you visit a website, do you prefer a bland earful of product and service offerings, or do you enjoy that feeling of knowing the mind behind the madness before making that purchase? My target market is a market I can relate to because I am one of them! When I create a message, I want my target market to go, “Yep. She must have written that for me.” That feeling of being related to and understood when somebody out there says it exactly the way you were thinking it is priceless.

 

Market yourself. Website, e-zine, newsletter, blog, social media—all these platforms are vehicles for effective and authentic communication with your target market and can be used to create relationships that give you a leg up on the competition.

 

Be interesting. Who is your target market? Answer some important questions about their interests and pain points in order to craft your language to speak to those exact things and cause them to feel understood. What are the top challenges of my target market? What are their favorite things to do? What motivates this group? When you can communicate on a level that matches their priorities and concerns, they know that you “get” them and are more likely to buy from you.

 

Does your target market feel understood?

 

I hope this has been helpful today. I believe this is one of those topics we need to revisit from time to time in order to check in on our language and focus. Are we communicating the way we want to? Are we communicating in the language that our clients speak? Are we communicating in a way that makes them feel understood?

 

I love to hear from you, so leave me a comment!

 

Have you struggled with speaking your target market’s language?

 

Can you think of a time when you, as a customer, had that feeling of not being understood?

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Get People To Listen To You

get people to listen to youIf you’ve been around the MomBiz community at all, you probably know that I’m a huge fan of building relationships that in turn build your business.  Now a fundamental piece of relationship building is communication, which involves both clearly articulating your thoughts and the art of listening.  Being skilled in one doesn’t necessarily insure strength in the other, and of course there is always room for improvement in both.  So today I’m going to share with you five tips to becoming a better communicator and therefore, empower you to bring about the results you want.

 

1.  LISTEN.  You may have noticed that we have one mouth and two ears.  It stands to reason that ideally, we should spend twice the amount of time listening to others as we spend talking to them.  So instead of succumbing to human nature and while you’re waiting for your turn to talk, formulating your answer, rebuttal or witty comeback, try to practice active listening.  Active listening, simply put, is listening carefully enough that you can repeat back or paraphrase some of the things that the speaker says to you.  There is a psychological agreement that takes place when we listen in this way—“You’re listening to me; therefore, I will listen to you,” which is, after all, what we were hoping for in the first place.

 

2.  CALL THEM NAMES.  No, I’m joking.  But using a person’s name in the course of conversation is a useful tool for holding their attention.  This is also a great little trick for remembering names if that’s something you have trouble with.

 

3.  GIVE THEM PROPS.  We all need a little acknowledgment.  In today’s world of social media, “virtually” patting someone on the back or expressing thanks is as easy as retweeting something someone says that we see as valuable, “liking” an inspiring post on Facebook, sharing a status.  Expand this idea to real life.  If you want people to listen to you and help you get what you want, look for opportunities to honor them.  It’s good karma and it’s good business.

 

4.  ASK QUESTIONS.  Now we’re not talking interrogation here, but more of a genuine curiosity about what the other person has to offer.  By asking relevant questions and thereby proving that you care, you actually gain greater control over the direction of the conversation and earn the right to be heard in the process.

 

5.  TAKE A BREATH.  Let’s face it.  In all reality, the person you’re talking with is probably only half listening.  So when you’re at that critical place in the conversation where you really need to drive that point home, it’s time for a change of pace.  Slowing down and building in pauses causes the other person to take notice, and also gives them time to really digest the important things you have to say.

 

These are some really simple but effective tools that you can apply to make yourself a better communicator, whether it’s with your kids, with your spouse, or with your clients and your team.  In business or in life, communication is the key to being heard and ultimately, getting the results you want.

 

I love to hear from you, so send me a comment!

 

Are you a better speaker than you are a listener? 

 

Which of these strategies do you plan to implement to become a more effective communicator? 

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10 Reasons To Hire A Life Coach: Part 1

10 Reasons to Hire a Life CoachA lot of the mompreneurs I’ve worked with in my coaching career have told me that they spent quite a bit of time thinking about hiring me before actually taking the leap and doing it. Some weren’t exactly sure what life coaching was about or what a coaching relationship would look like. Some even admitted to feeling embarrassed about hiring a coach to support them, almost as if it meant they were a failure at doing what they wanted to do or being who they wanted to be in life. Well, over the next couple of blog posts, we’re going to talk about this. So if you want to be successful on your own terms, create a business that works even when you don’t, get the buy-in and support you need from your spouse and family, and spend quality time with your kids… read on!

Here are the first five reasons you should hire a life coach:

1. Boundaries. It goes without saying that time management is always going to be our #1 problem as mompreneurs because we’ve signed up for two completely full-time-with-overtime-no-time-off jobs. It’s just hard for one person to do all of that! So one of the first things I do when I work with someone is help create some boundaries. We do this by creating an “ideal schedule,” which identifies your top moneymaking talent—where you’re going to get the most bang for your buck—and then incorporates systems and routines so that you are not just aimlessly trying to work whenever you get the chance (like when the family is eating dinner or the kids are asleep or they’re at a soccer game and you’re multitasking like crazy), but learning to really focus and be intentional with your time.

2. Expectations. Once you set some boundaries, you can begin to set expectations with your family, clients, colleagues, vendors, and friends. Now everybody in your life knows that you work on certain days at certain hours, and conversely, they also know that you have downtime with your family on certain days at certain hours. Being clear with these expectations enables you to meet the expectations of others in your life without having to constantly negotiate schedules and priorities.

3. Critical time-management strategies. We talked a little bit about creating an ideal schedule, but beyond that, we need to figure out what your high pay-off actions are, how to set those high pay-off actions as one of the first things you do each day, and then how to handle errands and to-do lists of things that are not time-critical—things like housework or grocery shopping—all those “extra” things you do as a mother. We need to figure out how to incorporate all of that rather than ignoring it and hoping it will go away. If I can teach you some critical time-management strategies, I am absolutely certain I can give you more of your time to do what you want to do with your life instead of always trying to figure out where to grab a few more minutes.

4. Communication techniques. This is so, so, so important because you need the support of your spouse and your kids; you need your clients to respond well to you; you need your vendors to be on the same page as you. Communication is key to all of that. There are so many of us that have, for one reason or another, developed some unhealthy, unproductive, or just plain ineffective communication strategies. These are the sorts of things a coach can help you work on to make sure you are communicating clearly, in such a way that you get what you want, be it support from your spouse, understanding and love from your kids, or a new project from a client.

5. Business and marketing plans. I could go on and on and on about this point, but it’s one that many mompreneurs don’t want to hear a lot about. People are fundamentally scared of creating business and marketing plans, perhaps because there is something almost terrifying about writing your goals down on paper, especially if you have a fear of failure, and let’s be honest—who doesn’t? But this is so critical to the long-term success of your business. You cannot do it without a plan. I hope this has piqued your interest and perhaps even answered a few of the questions you have about just what all this life-coaching business is about anyway. If so, stay tuned—for five more reasons you should hire a life coach.

Talk to me! Which of these five points resonates with you? What could you use some help with?

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