How would you rate your communication skills? How comfortable are you talking with people about your products and services? Are you good at returning calls or answering email? Do you like people? Do you do best in person? Answering these questions can be the beginning of a process that improves sales.
Your personality type and communication style should be taken into consideration when you plan your marketing strategy. Do you encourage phone or email contact? Do you prefer calls during business hours or are you up for calls at any time? Do you want your website to do most of the communicating for you?
You may realize you'd do better assigning some tasks to another member of your team if you can't keep up with it or you aren't very social. I have a client that just doesn't do email. He has messages printed out and either handed to him or faxed if he's on the road. Another has a barn manager that is always available and knows what's going on day-to-day. She has great people skills and is the first contact for any business dealings, either by phone or email.
I prefer email for short questions or ongoing communications. When starting a project, I find a phone call, to make that personal connection, works best. Face-to-face always adds depth to the amount of information both parties are able to gather, but it's not always possible. A lot of people I know use instant messaging on a daily basis as a business communication tool.
Take the time to ask these questions about yourself and your clients. Consider alternatives. You may find the answers make your life easier and improve your bottom line.