Best Ways to Improve Business Communication Skills

Business communication is a vital skill to keep sharpened if you are a business owner. Business is all about relationships. And communication is paramount in maintaining strong relationships both with customers as well as your employees.

As business communication is a skill that we learn, there are ways to build this capability.

Build a relationship of trust

Business is about building trustworthy relationships. So when you meet a new client take time to build some kind of rapport with them. This means forgetting about your agenda and understanding the client, their situation and needs.

Unless you take time to connect with a client, the chances are good that you will miss out on repeat business from them.

It is well worth the time investment in the beginning to get to know your client better. Find out more about them as person and their special interests. What frustrates them in doing business? What are their expectations? Etc.

Learn to listen

An entrepreneur shared how she had been to see a professional and how angry and frustrated she was when she left. The professional spoke at her. He was so busy pushing his point of view that he failed to give her a gap to even speak. Furthermore he also spoke down to her as if she could not think for herself.

Questions she raised were brushed off as insignificant. In fact the professional came across quite arrogant and condescending. The entrepreneur left knowing she would not return.

Make sure that you give others a turn to be heard. Remember this is an inherent human need! Then make sure that you listen to the real message they are giving you. If you read between the lines what do you pick up? Good business communication is a two-way process.


Give a clear summary of the main points you note during meetings. In this way the client knows if you have understood their situation well. A summary ensures that you know exactly what the client expects of you and what you will deliver.

Follow up in writing

Put a short summary of the main points in an email. Make sure that you write complete sentences as opposed to cryptic phrases. Any person who reads the email should know what the business communication is about.

Write words out in full as opposed to using sms language. An email full of abbreviations projects an image of casualness and lack of professionalism.

Raise sensitive matters in time

It is inevitable that there may be problems or snags along the way. Talk to your client as soon as you are aware of a problem that impacts on your service delivery.

Most clients understand if they are warned in advance of what may be a problem. Remember your underlying intent is to keep the relationship intact. Clients want to know you have their best interests at heart.

Carl is a business owner who has only had one difficult client in the 20 years he has been in business. Why? He takes a great deal of time to get to know and understand his clients. Carl then adapts what he has to offer to meet their specific needs. He is very good at keeping them informed of progress and potential delays.  Clients comment regularly on what a pleasure it is to do business with him.

See the relationship as an equal one

Clients have very specific ideas and needs. So make sure that you involve them in decisions. Gone are the days where clients allow others to make decisions on their behalf. Clients are informed and knowledgeable these days.

Even if you are the technical expert consult with your client. We are moving to a time of greater collaboration as opposed to unilateral decision making.

Sound relationships mean using effective business communication skills. But skills need to be practiced until they become second nature to us.

Consider business coaching if you want to hone your skills. In this way you have a better chance of retaining clients in the long term.


Posted in Business Owner, Communication.