What is the most essential ingredient needed to be successful in business? Is it your products or services? How about the knowledge you posses? Maybe your sales and marketing plan? Those are all keys to a successful business. But you won’t make it to the top if you can’t communicate your important messages effectively!
During any type of economic climate, businesses with the most effective communicators are the most successful it’s as SIMPLE AS THAT. If you want proof read on and keep thinking about this: We are always selling ourselves, our products, our services and our business.
Our communication skills are often overlooked.
If you ask one hundred people what the key to success is, most would say your knowledge of your products or services OR simply how good your products or services are. Well, your products and services don’t sell themselves AND most companies have knowledgeable people. Unless you have a monopoly on a particular product and don’t have to worry about the competition, it’s your ability to communicate your message effectively that sets you and your products or services apart from the rest.
Here’s a newsflash.
Every employee in any size business plays an important role on your communications team. Most companies are under the impression that the only employees who must have excellent communication skills are those who deliver several speeches each year or are on the sales team making presentations on a daily basis. This attitude can have a devastating effect on a business.
You are the face of your company every time you speak!
Consider yourself a walking billboard. Every time you speak with someone while working or socially they are forming a decision about you based mostly on your communication skills. If they don’t like what they’re hearing and seeing you’re making your products or services look bad and that’s not good for business.
Stop and think how critical communication skills are in every facet of work on a daily basis. How many phone conversations does the average business have in one day? Is it ten, one hundred, one thousand, depends on the business. Let’s say you average fifty conversations per day. Those fifty calls are like a radio spot advertising your business. If the person speaking on behalf of the company sounds terrible I’m certainly not going to consider using their product. Would you? I doubt it. How many times have you called a business only to be turned off by the person on the other end of the phone line? This can happen in a matter of seconds.
This also applies to your life outside of work. What if you’re standing in the checkout line at the super market talking about your business with someone who may just be a potential client or could provide several referrals to help build your business? There’s only one problem, your poor communication skills make a bad impression and your potential business goes down the drain before you ever had the chance to show them your product.
A lot of companies have good products or services, why are some more successful than others, because effective communicators make good products look great.
Here are some examples to drive this point home:
You’re competing with two other candidates for a position at a fortune five hundred company. All of you have equally impressive resumes. All of you come highly recommended and all of you have similar experience. On paper it’s an extremely difficult choice for your prospective employer. So who will get the job? If you haven’t figured that out yet, you’re not paying attention.
The first candidate walks in with extremely poor body language, is very soft spoken and timid. Sorry not interested. The second candidate enters and as soon as the conversation begins his or her lack of communication skills eliminates them as well.
Then you enter the room with excellent body language, great eye contact and a terrific smile. You’ve made a great first impression and you haven’t even spoken yet! When the interview begins your strong communication skills set you apart from the others. You have sold yourself and your product! (Your resume) Guess who has a new job!
Selling a product
Your business needs new cleaning products so you ask some other businesses what they use. They all name different companies and tell you they’re very happy with the products. When you meet with the different companies they recommended there doesn’t appear to be much difference in the products, they’ll all get the job done. So how do you decide which to choose? I know my choice has always been the person I like best and does the best job educating me on the product and doesn’t make me feel pressured. Simply put: The best communicator who makes his product and his business look better than the others.
Choosing a doctor
Unless you need a brain surgeon in which case you shouldn’t care if they can communicate, choosing a doctor also comes down to their communication skills. How often do we hear, he’s a good doctor but his bed side manner stinks?
Well here’s another choice for you. You have three equally qualified doctors to choose as your primary care physician. Two of them have the bed side manner of a flea. The other is a great communicator who listens to you and actually seems to care. (There’s a concept)
I hope this is an easy decision, if not I know plenty of doctors who are lousy communicators, I would be happy to recommend one for you.
One last example: You are on death row and have three lawyers with equal credentials to choose from. Need I go on?
You can apply these examples to almost any profession and the answer will be the same. Excellent communicators will rise to the top of the business world! Your ability to communicate your messages is what sets you apart from your competition. If you’re not getting the point by now, you probably never will.
Improving your communication skills goes far beyond simply learning to speak better. Your body language speaks louder than words and your listening and writing skills are an extremely important part of the communications package.
The next time you’re speaking about your business stop and think if you’re selling yourself and making your products, your services and your business look great.