Sunday, January 10, 2010

Business Communication for Dummies

My work involves talking to people for business partnerships. It suits me well because I have an incorrigible disposition towards blabbering. I have been able to crack several deals just because the aggrieved party listening to my pitch thought it was better to get into an association with my organization than braving the brutal inundation of jargonized banter shot at them from a point blank range (If you read the last sentence in one breath you’d know what I mean).

I have been doing this for two years now so going by my rules; I can now be called an expert in this area. This gives me the right to preach and share the knowledge with rest of the world.

There are broadly three kinds of communication scenarios – face to face, email and telephonic. When it comes to closing important business deals, nothing beats face to face. There are more reasons though why it is my favorite:

1. You get to see your potential business partner. This works beautifully for you if you are biased and judgmental as it gives you the privilege of calling a deal off simply because you don’t like some random attribute of the person you are talking to. When I started off, I didn’t like anyone taller than me and so none of my meetings materialized for the first 6 months after which I forced myself to give this bias up for the sake of my job. (One of my close friends despised people with big nostrils. Rumor has it that he declined a position in the PMO when Late Mr. Narsimha Rao had held the office)
2. You can support your words with your expressions. Email and phone calls do not give you the liberty of making faces. During face to face meetings, a sudden twist on your countenance could add the much required punch to close the deal instantly. For example, I was once faced with a situation where the person on the other side was a very senior professional. I remember putting on the most intelligent expression and a look depicting great maturity and sophistication to lend credibility to my proposal. In case you do not want the deal to happen, you can also try narrowing your eyes and grinding your teeth while the other person is trying to make a point. This would rattle his confidence and he would most likely screw up
3. You can show off your swanky new phone. If you have just spent half your salary buying the latest phone in the market, you wouldn’t want to miss any opportunity to show it off. A vital add on is a “fake call” software which can be programmed to ring your phone strategically to give you the opportunity to flaunt the gadget. Another way of getting your phone an audience could be by handing out your phone instead of your business card and then offering an apology to the baffled recipient by blaming the sleekness of your phone for the confusion
4. You can kill time. If your company’s IT hasn’t played the spoil sport by blocking important websites, you can while away those 8 hours at work by doing important things like watching funny videos of George Bush or playing Pac-man with other office workers across the world. However, most companies don’t let you have such opportunities of intellectual development. In such a scenario, there is nothing better than stepping out for meetings. You get to meet weird people and you don’t even have to pay to watch them
5. You get free coffee and biscuits. Alright, I know most of us have free coffee in our respective offices too. But then you can’t have the same coffee every day! It is always good to have a coffee that tastes better for a change. And don’t forget the biscuits. You could also make the best of the situation by slipping a few in your pocket to have them in the comfort of your own cubicle later. However, do remember to create a distraction (like spilling hot coffee in the lap of the person sitting next to you) when you do this to avoid embarrassment

I do not like email as a communication medium much. The reason for me is plain and simple – I am too lazy to type. Also, since I believe it is not the medium to use if you like talking “big” because they are recorded and a true “office ninja” like me never leaves any trail.
I like phone calls though. This is largely because you can say virtually anything and still get away. I remember this one time when a potential business partner called up and I was explaining to him the kind of enrollment offers we made to our customers. I was all excited since I wanted to close the deal and in my zeal I told him that our company was offering a 32 inches Sonia with the product (I had meant to say a 32 inches Sony Bravia TV). An absolute silence followed from the other end of the phone. The gentleman was obviously wondering about the kind of services our company was offering. I looked around surreptitiously to see if any of my colleagues had overheard me making the “indecent proposal” Alas! The most devilish of them had! But she didn’t stop at that, she started giggling. Now, I have a problem when someone giggles around me – I get this irrepressible urge to reciprocate magnanimously so I did exactly that and obliged her giggle with a colossal fit of laughter and followed it by abruptly cutting the call. The person on the other end was of course shocked to death. I can imagine what he would have felt at the receiving end –

“Hello!!!, Our company is giving out a 32 inches Sonia this month!”


“ Hahahahahahaha… Hohoho hahhahahha”


No points for guessing that he or any one else from his company never called back and the deal never happened.

So that’s my contribution to the art of communication. If you have anything to add, or any epic examples of your own, do let me know.


  1. You slipped in biscuits in pocket? why it was never shared with me later?? :-/

  2. and me! nonsense. see if i ever share snacks with you again.
    gasp! unhand those carrots!

  3. lolz... amazing stuff for someone sitting at office and wondering what to do ;)


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