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Lost in Translation

We are more connected than ever. Facebook, phone, email, Facetime, Skype, Twitter, Snapchat....I could go on. It seems that communicating with people should be short and simple. That is usually far from the case.

I always ask my clients for a preferred contact method. This should be our primary form of communication. I have some who prefer text, others who prefer weekly calls. The majority of my clients handle our communication and business through email. I check my email many times a day, so this is usually not an issue for me.

But, what happens when the message is lost in translation? Sometimes it is just hard to get the correct message when it is in writing. Do you realize how much more information you gain by just having a personal conversation with someone? You can better judge their overall tone. It is much easier to clarify questions and concerns. In addition, you don't have the chance to let a conversation drop with no resolution.

I had a client who I very rarely spoke to in person. We did all communicating via email. It was a pretty simple project and I found a few ways to improve the process for this client and his team. I tried explaining by email the benefits for him, only to get a short "Yes" or "talk to the guys". But HE never talked to his guys either, so they certainly didn't put my messages on priority. Nor did I really have much credibility with them to propose such changes. I offered to meet virtually or even schedule a conference call so the team was on the same page and we could talk through the project. Alas, the owner never had enough time to do this and I didn't pursue it. I still feel that we could have gotten them on a great system and really increased their efficiency. The client eventually moved on.

My point is, in your business you need to make time for communication. Don't run the risk of letting things get lost. Make sure both your clients AND those on your team are crystal clear on your goals and tasks that need accomplished.

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