“How’s the weather?”

“Hey, how are you doing?”

Is this how you start a conversation? But then it suddenly ends and it feels a bit uncomfortable. In a split second, your conversation start and ends without any genuine communication. Having great communication skills helps you network, expand your influence and create lasting relationships.

Here are some tips to help you improve your communication, so that each interaction becomes a meaningful exchange that may lead to a future business relationship.

  1. Be relaxed and in a positive mindset. Someone who is relaxed and positive will draw people in.
  2. Smile and say hello. A great smile and hello is warm and inviting.
  3. How are you doing? Reflect a simple and caring greeting.
  4. Be an active listener. This will help you feed the conversation and keep your mind from wandering.
  5. Keep eye contact. This will help you focus on the person and maintain active listening.
  6. Speak naturally, simply and be yourself. People connect better with someone who comes across very comfortable and easy to understand.
  7. Ask another question (How, When, Where, What, Why).
  8. Continue active listening.
  9. If you find a topic that you’re both interested in continue the theme.
  10. End the conversation. Consider making plans to get together soon, or give them your business card with a quick note on the back (like it was nice catching up), and/or offer to connect on a social media network.
  11. Practicing your communication skills is the best way to get better. Think of a conversation like dancing with a partner. The more you do it the more fluid you become.
  12. Put yourself in more social situations to practice your communication skills.
  13. You can also record yourself and start with a basic communication script to improve quickly.

Why are great communication skills so important? For businesses having great communication skills helps build relationships. For the average person it’s about feeling accepted, bonding with others and creating joyful experiences. Successful businesses use communication to weave both concepts in order to maximize growth and loyalty.

What tips would you give to a business owner looking to improve his/her communication skills?