1160x580 How to improve communication with your clients

Communication is Not Just Talking

We work remotely now. Even if your company doesn’t, plenty of your clients do. It might seem like nowadays communication is nothing more than just exchanging words. Not even remotely so. 

Effective communication is about conveying ideas, building relationships, and ensuring mutual understanding. I can say from personal experience, I found that the mode and method of communication can significantly influence project outcomes. You see, each communication tool has its own strengths and weaknesses, and knowing when and how to use them is crucial. Whether it's emails, video calls, voice messages, or specialized software, choosing the right medium for the right situation can make all the difference.

Communication in Sales

Sales communication has evolved drastically with the shift towards remote work. Now more than ever initial client interactions set the tone for the entire relationship - because often no smile or handshake is exchanged for first impressions. This is why at Mindsailors we leverage modern tools to maintain the quality of our sales communications, even when face-to-face meetings are not possible.

When I can't present our offer in a live meeting, I use apps like Loom to record the sales ptch. I use it to present myself and our company’s persona way better than a powerpoint or Excel would (no surprise there!). This approach allows me to deliver a polished and professional presentation that clients can view at their convenience. The key is to treat these recordings like an actual meeting: be prepared, dress appropriately, and ensure that your audio and video quality are top-notch. I use a high-quality microphone and camera to enhance the clarity and professionalism of my message, as an aim to make a positive impression on my clients.

Communication in sales - Practical Tip

Invest in good lighting and sound equipment to improve the quality of your recorded presentations. Practice delivering your message confidently and clearly, just as you would in a live meeting.

Communication During a Project

Effective communication during a project is essential to keep all parties aligned and informed. However, over-communication can be just as detrimental as under-communication, as it can distract from actual work.

I’ve used various project management software like Proofhub, Asana, and Jira. At Mindsailors we use YouTrack to keep track of tasks, deadlines, and progress. However, we’ve found that sharing these spaces directly with clients can sometimes lead to confusion or micromanagement. I know it works for many companies - but not for us. Instead, we opt for structured weekly meetings with our clients. These one-hour sessions function similarly to sprints in IT development, providing a regular checkpoint to discuss progress, address concerns, and plan next steps.

For addressing important or potentially confusing issues between these meetings, Irecommend using voice messages instead of text messages. Voice messages can convey tone and nuance that might be lost in written communication, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings. Ofcourse you want to pick up a phone now and then, but leaving a voice message leaves a trace you can refer to in the future, if necessary.

Communication During a Project - Practical Tip

Establish a regular meeting schedule with your clients to provide consistent updates and maintain alignment. Use voice messages for clarifying complex issues to add a personal touch and ensure your message is understood.

Communicating the Results of Your Work

Presenting the results of your work is not just about showcasing the final product; it’s about telling the client of the journey that got you there. You need to be like J.R.R. Tolkien! At Mindsailors, we believe that sharing the design process with clients helps them appreciate the rationale behind our creative decisions. If you ever found yourself in a situation when you needed to work hard on convincing a client to the results of your work, there’s a great chance that if you had shared your design journey with them beforehand, little-to-no convincing would have been necessary.

When presenting visual concepts, we spend considerable time explaining the designer's journey. Each designer presenting their concepts speaks about where they drew inspiration from, why they decided to go a certain way, what made them incorporate certain solutions, etc. This involves showing even initial inspirations, explaining the choices made along the way, and discussing how these decisions align with the client's goals. By doing so, clients are better equipped to understand and appreciate the final product, viewing it through the lens of the design process rather than just the end result.

We use tools like Adobe Photoshop, Keyshot, and Miro to create detailed presentations and mind maps that illustrate our design process. These tools help us visually communicate the evolution of our ideas and the reasoning behind them, making it easier for clients to follow and engage with our work.

Communicating the Results of Your Work - Practical Tip

Use visual aids and storytelling techniques to present your work. Even tools like Google Slides and Canva for design presentations and MindMeister for mind mapping can help you create compelling narratives that illustrate your design process.

Summary

Improving communication at key stages of client interaction—sales, project execution, and result presentation—can significantly enhance the overall client experience. We’ve seen firsthand how clear, effective communication can prevent misunderstandings, build stronger client relationships, and lead to better project outcomes. This not only helps in delivering results that meet client expectations but also makes your job easier by fostering mutual understanding and trust.

And while we're on that topic, do check out episode 22 of IDology - the industrial design podcast

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