Effective Communication A Key to Success in Business

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Do the words “communication skills” make you cringe?!? For many years this area of business was like the deep dark black hole that I could never find my way out of. Communication is such an essential skill for success in business and it was my biggest vice. It wasn’t like I was socially inept and didn’t like talking to people, but in business communication is a whole different ballgame.

Actually when I first started working I didn’t realize I had a communication problem. I was over purchasing for the company I worked with and as long as I was nice, timely, and conversational on the phone with our vendors, I appeared to have all the right skills. It wasn’t until I started my own company and forced myself into sales that I quickly discovered that….I hadn’t a clue what I was doing! Stuttering over every word, sweaty palms, nervous laughs all became part of my daily routine. The anxiety kept growing and growing, and the phone got heavier and heavier until one day I decided something had to give.

I began to search out communication courses, books, seminars, articles…anything I could do to learn the skills necessary to not only survive business, but thrive in it. One of the first books I ever read was “High Probability Selling”, by Jacques Werth. An excellent straight-shooting approach to sells. I learned so much from the book that I signed up for his coaching course and began my journey to effective communication. Now many years and several communication courses later, I’ve learned that communication boils down to one thing….

People only care about themselves and what you can do for them.

With that being said, what I learned was that when I was communicating with someone and I was only focusing on myself and my own agenda, then I was increasing my anxiety. The person I was communicating with could sense that and would react appropriately – pull back, hesitate, or feel uncertain. However, when I communicated with people and I focused only on them and what they were looking for, and really why they were looking for it to see if I could help them, then I had no anxiety and neither did they.

Now of course there are many faucets to learn about how to ask the right questions which I will discuss in subsequent articles, but for now, the realization that you are only in business to help other people solve their problems (whether that means fixing a leaky sink, selling widgets online, or leading a country) can change the way you communicate in business.

Here’s one tip you can try to start off with. Have you ever been in a social setting and someone asked you what you do for a living? Oftentimes we just reply back with something like…”I’m an accountant.” To which the person replies, “hmm…interesting,” and moves on to a new subject unless of course they’ve been hunting for days for a new accountant. What if you kept in mind our new found knowledge that people only care about themselves and what you can do for them and rephrased your response to….

“You know how with the economy these days a lot of people are struggling financially and don’t really know how to get the most out of filing their taxes …well, I assist people with filing their tax returns so that they can get a bigger return and use their money the way they want. Do you have someone that helps you with your taxes?”

Can you see the difference? When communicating in business or in life in general phrasing your words so that they relate to the person receiving them makes all the difference.

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