The Sweet Taste of Great Communication



I recently celebrated my birthday with my family at a restaurant that is more upscale than our normal night out. When we told the waiter we wanted to select a bottle of wine, he happily said he would get the sommelier to help us. Never having gotten expert help selecting a bottle, my husband and I looked at each other nervously as we wanted for the sommelier to arrive.


What could wine know-nothings like us say to an expert? Would we sound silly trying to pronounce words we had only read on wine bottles? Would we understand his lingo?

We needn’t have worried. “Josh” arrived at our table and simply asked, “what do you like?” After my husband and I fumbled around a bit, he asked a few follow up questions that made it clear that he understood what we were saying perhaps a bit better than the actual words used. He also tossed in a little information about the influence of growing regions and other wine-making factors on the characteristics we were looking for.

Now someone we felt understood our interested and that knew his stuff, Josh made a few recommendations. Choices! We considered the three he selected and chose one.

The wine was perhaps the best we have ever had (although not the most expensive.) As we sipped, we enjoyed a feeling of success that average people like us were able to communicate with a wine expert with such fine results.

There’s a lesson in here for anyone who needs to work with clients who know little about our field of expertise. The challenge is to bring that expertise to our work in a way that is accessible and understandable to anyone. In plain English, we need to:

    • Ask questions
    • Listen carefully to the meaning beyond the words
    • Offer our expertise in a way that lets clients know that our advice is well-informed
    • Offer options and explain the rationale for each

That all sounds easier than it is. It’s much easier to jump right into offering expertise without taking time to listen to potentially irrelevant comments and tease out requirements that you already can guess at. But skipping the steps that help build relationship and rapport with clients makes your advice less likely to be on target and well received.

You have to start by building a relationship, and that starts with asking and listening. That relationship creates the I-know-you-and-you-know-me context that is the foundation for successful communication moving forward.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. 430105 880996Very man or woman speeches need to have to seat giving observe into couples. Brand new sound system just before unnecessary men and women ought to always be mindful of generally senior general rule from public speaking, which is to be the mini. greatest man speaches 774830

  2. 836773 908743This is really interesting, You are a really skilled blogger. Ive joined your rss feed and appear forward to seeking far more of your magnificent post. Also, Ive shared your internet website in my social networks! 176199

  3. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own site now ;)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here