Business Growth Expert I Helping CPAs, Financial Advisors and Attorneys grow their Businesses exponentially
by Benjamin Aspir, CPA, Eisneramper LLP, and Jeremy I. Kaye, Deloitte
In the great “There’s no crying in baseball!” scene from A League of Their Own, Tom Hanks thought he could reprimand the female players in the same way he had dressed-down the male players. Then he adjusted and really began to communicate. If you are guilty of a one-size-fits-all approach, you could be missing as much as 75 percent of your opportunities, according to certified business coach Paul E. Hatrak III, CPA. We recently attended Hatrak’s session “Communicating for Success: Watch Your Language.”
These eight takeaways will help you increase your communication success. No crying. Guaranteed.
- Stand out in less than seven seconds. You have only seven seconds to make a good impression. Then, people start to tune you out. Make yourself unique.
- Be a helper. When you give your elevator speech, always use the word “help” in the first sentence. People want to know how you can help them. When you tell them up front, your message becomes personal. Your message will be memorable, and you’ll keep their attention (see #1).
- Step outside of your comfort zone. The most successful people have repeatedly stepped outside of their comfort zones. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Embrace the moment you start to feel uncomfortable.
- Personalize your communication. There are many types of personalities and communication styles. Hatrak recommends DISC, an assessment tool that helps you build more effective working relationships based on an understanding of different behavioral styles. DISC stands for: Dominance (sees the big picture, direct), Influence (enthusiastic, collaborative), Steadiness (calm, supportive), Conscientiousness (independent, objective). We are all a blend of the DISC styles, but usually one or two styles stand out.
- Establish your brand as early as possible. How do you want to be branded in the profession and in your organization? Once the brand has been established, you can become the go-to person in that area of expertise.
- Have an owner’s mentality. Whether you are a first-year staff member or a manager, act like an owner. Be invested in your organization’s success — both in the big picture and the details. If you act like an owner, you are more likely to become one.
- Tell people why you do what you do. Building on the ideas in Simon Sinek’s book (and well-known Ted Talk) Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, don’t start by telling people what you do. Start with why, then move to how, and end with what — and you’ll be in the company of leaders like Apple, Tesla and Google. Instead of saying “We made this spectacular phone by taking new innovative materials in order to make the best customer experience,” the message is better delivered as “In order to make the best customer experience, we used innovative materials to make this spectacular phone.”
- Know who you are meeting with. Prior to meetings, find out what you can learn about anyone you don’t know. If you don’t, it will be obvious when you go into a meeting unprepared. You’ll shine when you understand motivations, ask the right questions, set strategies and achieve your goals.
________________________________________________________________________This This article appeared in the November/December 2016 issue of New Jersey CPA magazine.