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The 7% Rule: Building client relationships with better communication

The 7% Rule: Building client relationships with better communication

Have you ever sent a text message and the person receiving it to took it the wrong way?

Maybe it was a joke, asking for a favour, or pointing out something that they could improve on. Whatever the context, the most common cause of miscommunications over text conversations is The 7% Rule.

The 7% Rule implies that 93% of communication is non-verbal. That means to deliver the most effective communication and convey the most effective message, we need to be able to interpret body language and tone of voice in addition to the words spoken.

Seven-percent represents the significance of the words used to convey a message. By removing tone of voice and body language from our communication, which is what happens when we send an email or a text message, we are delivering a message that is 93% more likely to be misinterpreted and cause us grief.

There is a lot of debate in scientific communities about the accuracy of the percentages, but the one thing no one disagrees on, non-verbal communication makes up for a huge portion of conveying a message well.

Let’s do a little exercise.

Below, I’m going to write two emotions. Emotion is a big influence on tone of voice and body language, so I want you to imagine saying the same sentence while conveying the emotion described.

Ready?

The sentence is: Wow, that’s unbelievable.

Now try it. Say the sentence in a way that conveys these feeling:

Disappointment
Excitement

Different, huh?

When conveying disappointment, you probably used a sterner tone, spoke in a deeper voice, and maybe even used a twinge of sarcasm.

When conveying excitement, you probably had a smile on your face, spoke at a higher octave, and pushed through a bit of enthusiasm and appreciation.

Now imagine receiving a text message with those words. Without the ability to interpret tone of voice or body language, it’s left to you to decide how you’re going to receive the message. The way you interpret the message can be dependent on your own mood or previous experiences in receiving feedback.

In business communication, so often we send messages over social media, email, or mobile texting without thinking anything of it. It’s normal in our tech-driven society because it’s convenient and efficient. We literally have the world at our fingertips.

But is this method of communication effective?

When talking to clients or prospects, having clear communication is essential to building trust. That’s one of the many reasons why video is such an effective tool for service-based small business owners to capture an audience’s attention, build trust and rapport, and convert them into loyal clients.

In order to effectively communicate your message to an audience, quickly build trust with a potential client, and significantly lower the risk of miscommunicating your services and guarantees, the most effective method to communicate is through face-to-face interaction.

Lucky for us, the internet makes this possible without having to meet in-person. Tools like Zoom, Skype, Duo, and Facebook Messenger all allow for video or audio conversations but are seriously underused in business communication.

In conclusion, if you want to improve your communication with an audience, build relationships faster, and earn their trust enough that they’ll purchase from you, you need to do more than show up in their inbox every so often.

As an entrepreneur, real estate, or service-based small business owner, you have all the tools to have face-to-face conversations with prospective clients around the world. More than 75% of the population owns smartphones and has access to video technology. Video conversations are as normal as writing a letter in the 1800s or picking up the phone in the late 1900s.

Learning to use these tools effectively will have a huge impact on your client relationships, a positive influence on how many deals you close, and allow you to reach more people with your message in a way that speaks to them and builds their trust.

What is Content Marketing?

What is Content Marketing?

It’s amazing how many business owners and marketers don’t understand the importance of good content. They truly believe that posting anything on social media, or sending a random newsletter asking for referrals, potential clients are going to come knocking—because that’s what it looks like everyone else is doing.

But it’s rarely the case.

Content marketing is an integral part of any marketing strategy. It is the art and science of creating and sharing material such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts that don’t explicitly sell a service, instead stimulate interest around a brand or what they have to offer.

In simple terms:

Content marketing is every piece of material you create. Whether it is in print, on your website, or shared on social media. Content is everything.

A flyer? Yep, the content on that piece of paper will decide how many people pick up the phone versus throw your ad in the garbage.

Facebook ads? Every wonder why some ads do so much better than others? It’s because their content speaks to the intended target audience and encouraged potential clients to take action.

Video series? What you put in those videos will determine whether you build a relevant audience or the people you want to see your material move on to more interesting creators.

Every word you write, every video you film, and every photo or infographic you create are content marketing.

The best content marketing tells a story.

Not necessarily a long-winded recount of your business adventure, but well thought out stories that captivate your audience, relate to their struggles, and help them see that hiring you is the only logical way to solve their problem.

There is a reason why some people are able to build a loyal brand following and other small businesses struggle to keep the doors open.

Three key elements to content marketing are that what you put out into the world is:

Relevant:

Of interest to your target audience. A baker wants to know about baking, not spaceships.

Timely: 

Relevant to current affairs or the current state of your client’s life and the problem that you solve. Can also include viral trends and news events that would directly impact your target audience.

Valuable:

Genuinely provides insightful information, actionable steps, or a solution to a problem facing your target audience so you gain their trust and establish credibility.

Content marketing is a long-term strategy that needs to evolve with your client and their needs so that you become a trusted source of information and guidance as they make their way through the buyer journey.

Consistency is a key ingredient of a successful content marketing strategy.

The more you show up with relevant content, the more loyal and dependable your audience will be. Even better if you stick to a schedule so your audience knows when they can expect new valuable content from your business that might apply to their needs. If you consistently deliver awesome value and solutions to minor problems your ideal client faces, you will be the natural choice when they decide to hire an expert to solve their bigger problems.

Great marketing is impossible without great content.

In conclusion, what separates successful small businesses from those that fail within the first three years is being able to consistently attract new and relevant clients to their business by establishing trust, credibility, and dependability.

When you become the natural choice for your audience, your business will never run out of clients.

When you deliver and perform well for your clients, they’ll send even more your way.