Concision is key when it comes to professional communication. No one has time to decipher long-winded emails or wade through wordy pitches. It’s important to clearly convey what you want to get across so that you don’t confuse or bore your clients and prospects.

Brevity can improve communication in all kinds of ways, according to author and SEO expert, Jason Hennessey. He says that when you choose your words wisely, you have to mean what you say. When you’re direct, you can’t help but be honest and transparent—both excellent qualities in sales professionals.

But how do you communicate concisely without coming across as cold or uncaring? Hennessey has compiled a few best practices, which we share in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Be considerate, not curt. You can keep your communication short and sweet while still being kind to the recipient. Brevity is not an excuse for a “my way or the highway” attitude, notes Hennessey. When you are communicating concisely, the idea is to get across your message as clearly as possible. Choose your words wisely while respecting your audience. When you are brief, keep in mind that you may need to follow up sometimes.

Thoughtfully select your words. Communicating with brevity in mind requires that you choose the most accurate words for the situation. For example, Hennessey says that if you reply with “The artwork looks bad,” you’re not really helping the situation. Instead, you could start a more productive conversation by saying, “The artwork looks too animated for the brand’s goals.” Remember that the goal isn’t to shut down dialogue, says Hennessey, but to move it to a resolution faster.

Watch the idle chatter. Pleasantries have their place, but make sure to keep an eye on them when you are trying to get to the heart of the matter. Back-and-forth chit-chat can turn into communication quicksand. Hennessey says that you if you discover something important during a conversation, you should set aside some time to meet and discuss the issue further.

Stay witty. You don’t have to give up your sense of humor in the spirit of brevity. Hennessey says that even though he doesn’t typically prattle on, he sometimes sends out funny memes or GIFs. This kind of communication can show that you are thinking of someone and want to brighten their day with something quick and catchy.

Leave the brevity at work. While brevity in your sales communications can help you send clear messages, don’t be afraid to loosen up after hours. You don’t need to speak so succinctly when you are catching up with colleagues after work. Just be yourself and enjoy the company of those around you without worrying about talking too much.

It matters how you communicate. If you know you tend to be long-winded in your emails, think about how you can tighten up your words. Messages that are short and sweet can convey your point succinctly and keep the conversation moving forward.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jason Hennessey is an SEO expert, author, speaker, entrepreneur and business executive.