Spot the signs: 5 red flags of ineffective business communication

Posted: 14th June 2024

Source: (16) Spot the signs: 5 red flags of ineffective business communication | LinkedIn

Communication in business does three things – it helps us to connect with the right audience and make them want to engage; convince our audience we understand them and can help them and convert them into becoming a client or repeat client or referral partner.

But how do you tell if your communication is doing its job? Check out these five ‘red flags’ or tell-tales that your messaging might not be quite hitting the mark. They’re the clues that  you may be losing business due to poor communication.

Clue #1

You feel that your target audience simply doesn’t ‘get’ what you do. They don’t engage with your solution as well as you would want or expect them to. What you think is a clear message simply doesn’t resonate or connect with them.

Clue #2

You’re getting leads and interest, but not from the people you want to engage with. The people who end up buying from you are not your ideal clients—they’re ‘tyre-kickers’, and they don’t have a real need for what you do.

Clue #3

You find it hard to maintain the connections you make. You have meetings, but then you struggle to get a follow up. You have people sign up for your newsletter, but then unsubscribe soon after. Your prospects visit your website, but they don’t get much further than a short look at the home page.

Clue #4

You’re making great connections, but you’re not able to convert them to sales. You feel forced into ‘hard sell’ tactics, or you find yourself lowering your prices or throwing in ‘special offers’ to get your prospects to buy. You may end up getting the sale, but you’re left with reduced revenue and profits. You give away so many extras and discounts that the cost of winning the client becomes too high.

Clue #5

You’re making sales but not repeat sales. Clients buy once but don’t come back again, and you get no referrals from your current clients. You may be getting people to buy from you, but these clients don’t feel good about their decision afterwards because you’ve had to cajole them into a decision. Instead of feeling proud of their choice to do business with you, they feel pressured and coerced. Consequently, they don’t return, or refer you to others.

Any or all of these red flags are indicators that your communication is failing to connect with your customers. The solution to this problem is to engage the right audience with a clear, consistent and customer-focused message that articulates exactly how they will benefit from what you offer.

So what’s causing these red flags?

Let’s start with what isn’t the cause.

If you do have one (or more) of these red flags in your business, your communication issues are probably not due to a lack of knowledge on your part. Many organisations with communication red flags are good at what they do, have great products and services, and know them inside out.

Nor is this disconnect due to a lack of passion or intent— you can be driven and committed to providing a great solution and still struggle with communication. It’s probably not due to a fault in your product— most organisations have spent a lot of time, energy, and money researching and developing a quality offering.

There’s certainly no blame to be placed on your audience’s shoulders—they’re not doing anything wrong if they choose not to engage with your solution. After all, it’s the responsibility of the communicator to speak in a way the audience can understand.

No, the source of the problem is most likely to be this: You are probably not speaking to your customers in a way that clearly articulates the value that you bring to their business. Your words have not painted them a picture of how they will profit from your solution.

If you have communication red flags in your business, book a free consultation call with me and we can dig deeper into the cause and how to fix it.

Carol Benton is a Business Communication Expert, Author and Speaker, helping tech companies to win more business with effective communication.

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