Feel good business cpmmunicationHas this happened to you?

You walk into a business meeting and a salesperson rushes to greet you.

With pearly whites flashing, he (or she) pumps your hand while gushing how simply wonderful it is to meet you.

How did it make you feel?

  • A bit nauseated?
  • Turned off?

Now think about what followed. Did that salesperson inspire you? Impress you?

Probably not. That greeting shut down any chance of you listening to anything he or she was selling.

This year’s theme of business communication basics answers the who, what, did you of business communication.

In the What’s your purpose post, you received three simple questions to ask when planning your business communication.

  1. What do you want your audience to know?
  2. What do you want your audience to feel?
  3. What do you want your audience to do?

This post covers the second question. Hopefully you’ll feel good afterwards.

What Do You Feel?

When defining your business communication’s purpose, consider the emotional response you want. One scientific study identified four basic emotions (as illustrated below).

4 Emotions

How do emotions affect your business communication?

  • Happiness makes us want to share (as presented in this interesting article on emotions and marketing)
  • Sadness generates empathy (picture the animal rescue commercials)
  • Fear can be the subtle push to buy a product before the supply runs out
  • Surprise sprinkles a highly-valued unique flavor in ho-hum marketing
  • Anger can propel much-needed change

So how do you tap into those emotions without sounding like that smarmy salesperson?

INSPIRE — IMPRESS — ENTERTAIN

You will find multiple methods for harnessing the power of your audience’s emotions. My love of simple chiseled those into the following three categories.

1. Inspire your audience

Being told to inspire your audience is like telling someone to go do great things. Um, okay, I’ll get right on that.

The plethora of motivational speakers and self-professed gurus may lure you into believing inspiration is a snap. You may buy what they’re selling, but did they inspire you? Or merely persuade you to buy their service?

What’s the difference?

Picture your favorite product or service. Let’s say it’s the latest Apple product or Amazon’s customer service. When you look for a new smartphone or want to find a product online, where do you go? Apple or Amazon, right?

  • You have gone beyond mere purchasing
  • You are an Apple advocate, an Amazon ambassador

Inspire greatness — go beyond.

  • Know your audience – Anticipate their needs, feel their pain, listen to what they’re saying (and not saying)
  • Take the extra step – Acknowledge correspondence (beware of automated turn-offs), follow up, follow up, follow up, say thank you – often
  • Keep it real – Automated “do not reply” and patronizing rhetoric (we appreciate your call, the next available representative will be with you in 30 minutes…BEEP) are masks disguised as customer service

2. Impress your audience

Do you know what factor does more to impress your audience than any other? Great customer service.

Think about it. Are you surprised when you receive good customer service? Sad commentary, isn’t it?

The SlideShare presentation below is one of my most downloaded. It offers some simple tips for putting the WOW into your customer service.

3. Entertain your audience

You don’t have to be the next Robin Williams or Chris Rock to entertain your audience. Isn’t that a relief? However, if you (or someone in your business) has a great way with humor, use it to your advantage.

One of my favorite businesses for their great sense of humor (in my humble opinion) is Southwest Airlines. I posted the following image of Southwest’s available seating chart.

Southwest image

Humor is tricky. Who hasn’t been offended by the content of an email, only to find out the sender intended the message to be funny or sarcastic. Be aware of potential pitfalls.

Humor is not the only way business communication entertains.

Entertain through:

  • Storytelling to illustrate points
  • Various mediums like video, podcasts, and presentations
  • Images and other visuals

How do you make your audience feel good?

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BigStock Photo Credit

Canva graphic

Note: The next post reviews how you communicate what you want your audience to do.

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