Mastering External Relations: Communication Skills



External relations is a crucial skill that involves communicating with individuals outside an organization, representing the organization to various external sources. This blog will delve into the importance of this skill, how to develop it, and its application in different scenarios. We will also role-play to illustrate the positive and negative ways of using this skill.

Understanding External Relations

<div> External relations is a broad term that encompasses all the ways an organization interacts with the world outside its walls. This could include <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/customer.asp" class="no-underline text-accent"> customers </a> , the public, government entities, and other external sources. The information exchanged can take various forms, such as in-person meetings, written correspondence, telephone conversations, or <a href="https://www.lifewire.com/how-many-emails-are-sent-every-day-1171210" class="no-underline text-accent"> emails </a> . <br /> <br /> The goal of external relations is to create a positive image of the organization, build strong relationships with key stakeholders, and ultimately drive the organization's success. It's a skill that requires excellent communication abilities, diplomacy, and a deep understanding of the organization's goals and values. </div>

Developing Your External Relations Skill

<div> Developing your external relations skill involves improving your communication abilities, understanding your organization's goals and values, and learning how to represent these effectively to external sources. <br /> <br /> Start by improving your <a href="https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/communication-skills.html" class="no-underline text-accent"> communication skills </a> . This includes both verbal and written communication. Practice active listening, clear and concise speaking, and effective writing. You can take <a href="https://www.coursera.org/courses?query=communication%20skills" class="no-underline text-accent"> online courses </a> or attend workshops to improve these skills. <br /> <br /> Next, understand your organization's goals and values. This will help you represent your organization effectively. You can do this by reading your organization's mission statement, attending company meetings, and talking to leaders within your organization. <br /> <br /> Finally, learn how to represent your organization to external sources. This involves understanding the needs and concerns of these sources and addressing them effectively. You can do this by attending networking events, joining professional organizations, and seeking mentorship from experienced professionals in your field. </div>

Applying External Relations Skill: A Scenario

<div>Let's consider a scenario where you're a representative of a tech company at a trade show. Your goal is to attract potential customers and partners. You need to communicate your company's products, values, and goals effectively.<br/><br/>You start by preparing a clear and concise presentation about your company's products. You use <a href='https://www.canva.com/create/presentations/' class='no-underline text-accent'>visual aids</a> to make your presentation more engaging. You also prepare handouts with detailed information about your products.<br/><br/>During the trade show, you actively engage with attendees. You listen to their needs and concerns and address them effectively. You also network with other professionals and potential partners.<br/><br/>After the trade show, you follow up with the contacts you made. You send them <a href='https://www.hubspot.com/sales/follow-up-email' class='no-underline text-accent'>follow-up emails</a>, thanking them for their time and providing additional information about your products. This helps build strong relationships and potentially leads to partnerships or sales.</div>

Role-Playing External Relations: The Do's and Don'ts

<div><ul><li><i>You: 'Hello, I represent XYZ company. We specialize in providing innovative tech solutions. Can I know more about your company's needs?'</i></li><li><i>Potential Customer: 'We are looking for a solution that can streamline our operations.'</i></li><li><i>You: 'Our product ABC can help with that. It's designed to automate and streamline operations.'</i></li><br/><li><i>You: 'Hello, I'm from XYZ company. We sell the best tech products.'</i></li><li><i>Potential Customer: 'That's great, but we are looking for a solution to streamline our operations.'</i></li><li><i>You: 'Well, all our products are great. You should buy them.'</i></li></ul><br/>In the first scenario, you effectively used your external relations skill. You listened to the customer's needs and provided a solution. In the second scenario, you failed to listen to the customer's needs and pushed your products without understanding their requirements.</div>

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