There’s a reason “Communication is key” is such a popular saying. Effective communication is an important soft skill in the workplace and is the key to any project success. Misunderstandings brought about by ineffective communication can easily become the source of conflict in any project.
According to Warren Walters, a Senior Developer and a Salesforce Development Lead at Advictorium Solutions, over-communicating helps reduce any possible assumptions the client or the project team may have about the project they are working on.
David Berman, a Salesforce Consultant at DB Salesforce Consulting, stresses the importance of asking the right questions and getting clarity early on in the project.
How can a Salesforce Consultant, especially those who are starting out, improve their communication?
Here are some things you can try out.
1. Get your project team aligned with the client’s vision of the project
Before starting, you should know the project inside out. It should be clear what the scope of work is and what the deliverables are. It is also important to discuss with your client the ownership of tasks, roles, and responsibilities. Always remember to get the agreements in writing. This will help you remember and protect both parties during the course of the project.
2. If there is anything that isn’t clear to you or your team, ask
No matter how much detail was discussed during the start of the project, there will always be some things that are unclear to you or your team and there will be other times where it simply did not occur to you to clarify some aspects of it, in the beginning. This can easily be remedied by asking the client any questions you may have in the back of your mind. This will also help you make sure that you are building exactly what the clients want. Better to ask than to assume.
3. Update your client every so often on the progress of work
Updating your client does not only mean doing occasional demos to see if the product is the way the client wants it. Communicating will be a recurring process throughout the entirety of a project. If something is not going as planned, it is important to get in front of the problem and sit down with your client to discuss these road bumps. It is important to be transparent with them if there are any project delays or if you find out a part of the job is more challenging than initially thought. This will also help manage expectations.
4. Be open to feedback
Communication is more than just talking. It also means being a good listener. By effectively listening, you will be able to understand what your client’s needs and expectations are. This will also be true later on in the project when demos start to roll out and the client begins to give you feedback on what has been worked on so far. It is important to remember not to take any negative feedback personally.
Overall, the importance of good communication skills cannot be ignored during your career as a Salesforce Consultant. It will be one of your tools during pre-sales support, during implementations, demos, and more.
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