Entrepreneurship has a lot of buzzwords. Scaling, pivot, ideation, etc. Two left out: responsiveness and ego. Even if you can code like Steve Wozniak, you’ll still have to communicate with co-workers and customers – with positivity.
Remember you’re dealing with people and not programs. Your skill will show itself, but your ability to connect and cultivate respect will take time and a lot of kindness and empathy.
Here are 3 things you can do to build the greatest machine of them all: relationships.
Consider their pride
When writing wedding toasts for Laugh Staff, I always try to remind myself of the customer’s thought process. They’ve paid money to have a total stranger write about one of their most cherished relationships. Having someone write your speech is giving them access to your weaknesses and vulnerability.
Find the praise
Find something the customer already has going for them and then communicate your plan to build on it. If it’s web design, you can tell them that their site has good features that can further be enhanced (making it more mobile friendly, easier navigation, see…those buzzwords always find a way in).
Respond with clarity
This is a big one. If a client or customer reaches out with a question, be timely and respond with a solution or let them know you’re working towards it. Setting your own deadline and communicating it to the customer shows them you have a plan. The key? Get specific. “Hi, John. I’m working on your speech right now and will have a draft to you by 1 PM tomorrow.” It’s also wise to be proactive with these updates even if the customer didn’t ask for an ETA. People feel valued when you give them your time and attention, along with your skill.
Josh Womack is the head writer of Laugh Staff where he writes funny wedding toasts. He’s also a copywriter for Progressive Insurance.