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Updated 30 Sep 2020

Gain a competitive edge - have more (effective) conversations

How often have you come to the end of a day, filled with meetings and discussions with customers, suppliers, staff and other stakeholders, and thought to yourself – “At last, now I can start my real work”. 

Bev Hancock, 10 November 2016  Share  0 comments  Print

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Entrepreneurs are busy. Often this means turning to email, admin and catching up on essential reading after-hours. The reality remains that conversations drive your business’ growth.

So, how do you hold effective conversations that drive business success and results?

Judith Glaser, author of Conversational Intelligence writes: “To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationships, which depends on the quality of the conversations. Everything happens through conversations.”

Top tips for high impact conversations 

Here are four tips to turn your conversations into high impact engagement sessions:

1. Co-create with your customers 

Collaboration remains the heart of effective customer dialogue. Encourage your customers to give you meaningful feedback that will help you continuously improve your product or your service. Make your customer communication a dialogue; don’t just broadcast, listen. Your customers are your greatest source of business intelligence.

Related: Save more, sell more: Preparing for growth

2. Build trust at every opportunity 

Trust is the foundation of sustainable business success. When your customers feel they can trust you, the sales conversation becomes so much easier. Price becomes less important, and retaining customers becomes a source of competitive advantage.

3. Build a high performance team 

High -performance -team

Your team is your best source of competitive advantage. As a leader, you influence the conversations they have when you are not around, and you shape their culture. If you are looking for performance that goes the extra mile, take time to acknowledge each member of your team.

Keep your language positive and make sure that you walk the talk. If your words and actions are not in sync, you will undermine trust in your team, which will negatively impact everyone’s performance.

4. Words create worlds

You don’t describe the future you can see; you see the future you can describe. Use the creative power of language to craft a powerful vision that draws you towards your desired future. So many entrepreneurs write a vision statement for their business plan and then never look at it again.

Related: How to create an agile strategy to take you to the top

A vision statement that vividly describes what your future business looks like will create a magnetic force that will draw you towards that future. If your vision excites you, your brain clicks into gear and sees your vision as your new reality.

Effective conversations are the new competitive edge, so by using your words, and your time, wisely you can keep stay ahead of your competitors. 

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About the author

Bev Hancock

Bev Hancock is an executive coach, mentor and strategic facilitator who specialises in entrepreneurial and leadership development. Her high-tech, high-tough approach makes her offering face-to-face, virtual and global. Her coaching of entrepreneurs throughout Africa resulted in a substantial rise in both turnover and employment. She obtained an MBA on Mentorship for Small Businesses, a Masters in Business Coaching focusing on Research in Virtual Coaching. She is currently busy with her doctoral thesis on Virtual Coaching. Contact details: [email protected], 083-276-5475,

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