Communication is key, and vital to the success of client-facing projects. As a project manager, my day consists of communication with clients. Whether it be emails, phone calls or face-to-face meetings, these tips help make my communication efforts effective.
Set a Tone
Your tone sets the mood of a conversation. Maintaining a friendly and professional tone is important to keep a positive relationship with your client. Even if you’re having a bad day or are stressed, stay upbeat and positive. People remember how you say something more than what you actually say. On bad days, I just take a moment to breathe and become positive before I hop on a call or join a meeting.
Setting expectations is vital. This establishes almost everything about the project. At liquidfish, client expectation calls are an early part of the project process, and it helps to set goals and objectives on both sides. These expectations are important to refer back to when questions come up during the process. Something to remember in this step - there is no such thing as too many details.
Say No (the right way)
Sometimes it’s appropriate to say no to a client, but there’s a way to do it. When you have to say “no,” stick to the facts. Why are you saying “no?” Refer to documentation instead of just saying “no.”
Consistency makes for clearer communication. I have a process I follow when I’m writing emails and setting up meeting agendas to ensure I don’t forget anything. This can be as simple as styling your emails the same way. It makes your life easier and helps you avoid miscommunication.
Summarize all Meetings
As a general rule, I send summaries of all client communication to the client within 24 hours. This helps me keep a record of what was talked about in a meeting. I can also refer back to these if I have any questions about what the client wants. This is also helpful for the client because it greatly decreases miscommunication.
I cannot emphasize how important proofreading emails is. It’s easy to quickly write an email and send it, only to realize you’ve made a mistake. Grammarly helps me avoid grammar mistakes, but I still proofread my emails for the correct dates and times, as well as deliverables I’m promising or asking for.
Use these tips to step up your communication game!
If these guidelines sound like the basis of a relationship you'd like to share with your marketing partners, contact us today.