Top Five Communication Skills to Improve Your Business Deals
(and your reputation!)
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
When you’re making business deals and developing relationships, your communication skills can define your success and even who wants to work with you. But, clearly sharing your thoughts, expertise and savvy without inciting a passive-aggressive power play (or worse) can be difficult.
So, we’ve compiled our Top Five Communications Skills developed from real deal-making to help you improve your business relationships, showcase your leadership and savvy — and make sure you uphold a solid reputation.
1. Build Presence With Your Audience
Being a wallflower will get you nowhere. As soon as you walk into a room, people are paying attention. They watch how you carry yourself, if you recognize others around you (or don’t!) and your disposition. You form the best deals and relationships when you recognize your audience and engage them with a strong — but not overpowering — presence.
By remembering to build a presence with your audience, you immediately invite them to engage with you rather than at you or not at all, which is crucial for long-term relationship building.
2. Be Articulate
Think of all the times you’ve sat through a meeting where the person wasn’t able to formulate their thoughts, paused constantly while talking (um, like, er …) or used sloppy language. You probably tuned them out and possibly wrote them off completely.
To make a good impression, being articulate is as important as having a firm handshake and looking sharp. Whether you’re meeting a new prospect or trying to close a deal, communicating clearly and knowledgeably will speak volumes about the level of care you bring to the table. If you sound or look sloppy, you leave space for your listener to believe your business skills are sloppy, too.
3. Be Natural and Believable
The best business deals and relationships are built on a solid foundation of trust. As soon as someone has a reason to believe that you’re not being authentic, their walls will go up and they’ll immediately question whether they can trust you.
To avoid this communication skills mishap, you must seem natural and believable. As you engage with your listener, be real in your thoughts and opinions, be candid in how you express them, and do so with confidence.
4. Think Thoughtfully and Quickly on Your Feet
The ability to be nimble in conversation and thoughtfully and quickly respond to topic or personality dynamics will set you apart from the crowd. Because business has many different facets that can change at a moment’s notice, your ability to respond to this fluid environment reflects the savvy you bring to the relationship.
If you get stuck when trying to answer questions or can’t troubleshoot details on the spot, you immediately create lag time in a business deal — which can jeopardize bigger priorities, including your relationships.
5. Be an Authority
People like to build relationships and make deals when they know that they’re working with an effective leader who brings expertise to the table. Essentially, they want you to know your sh*t.
When you act and come across as smart, you demonstrate your intellect, which tells your listener that your opinions and perspectives are worth their time. Of course, being natural and believable is also tied to being an authority — no one appreciates someone who acts big but has little to show for it.
While objectively examining your shortcomings is never easy, knowing how you measure up with your communication skills is the first step toward improving them. To be the best at what you do, you have to commit to being the best — and ensure you have the skills to back it up!