A very much overlooked secret to GREAT success in business is to… develop great soft/people communication skills. This article will highlight exactly what soft skills will significantly increase the profits of your business, improve employee productivity, free up your time and increase your sales and income rapidly.
To begin with, think about this…
If you take all the people away from a business – what’s left?
Obviously not much – just a lot of equipment and computers and not much that makes you a lot of money, without people (employee) involvement.
In business, every kind of business, people are necessary. Customers are people, employees are people, suppliers are , marketing attracts people and yes… even you are considered a people (excuse the poor diction).
Doesn’t it make good sense then, that to be very successful in business, you study the major component of business, which is to study people?
This subject is the one I see most as not being a focus with business owners. The benefits of focusing on this key skill are quite fantastic as we will explore in this newsletter.
For example, do you wait 3-6 months before deciding an employee you hired was a poor choice? Then do you struggle with what to say to put them off?
Having great people skills first of all can avoid having to put someone off, because you understand what they will be like… even before you hire them!
Your people skills in business are absolutely proportional to your (profit margin) success. Want more profits without spending any more money on advertising, then focus on improving your people skills for the next 1 to 2 years.
But what specifically are “people skills”? And what relevance does it have to net profit margins?
Great questions! They deserve answers, so here they are…
The Soft Skills List of People Skills Include the Ability to…
- Pick great attitude potential employees, before you hire them
- Know which potential employee is teachable within minutes of meeting or talking to them
- Teach people what you know so they enjoy learning from you as their teacher
- Lead people to follow in your footsteps to potentially replace you
- Sell to anyone (price shopper or not) and win more sales at higher prices
- Write great advertisements (with additional training outside of people skills), used to “attract” great attitude employees as well as eager-to-buy customers.
These are the major areas to improve on with your people skills that lead to fantastic benefits in your business.
In case you are wondering, ALL of the above areas can be learned. It all comes down to a willingness to learn – call that having a good “attitude” – as a business owner.
So let’s look at the relevance of each of these points and why they are necessary…
To recognise attitude employees is an incredibly beneficial skill to have. If there’s one thing I commonly see, it’s average attitude staff working in a business.
They are average because they don’t have their heart in their work.
The business owner is stressed out because they work hard, year after year even regardless of whether they have 3 or 30 staff.
One of the Most Important People Skills for Business Owners
Identifying attitudes of employees early is rarely a developed skill by business owners. And if you have the skill and can pick great attitude staff, even you only hire one person in the next year, it can truly transform any business.
Not being able to identify them, before you hire them means could mean you are locked into working hard for the rest of your life, not taking long holidays and doing the work of others who don’t do it well enough themselves. There is a huge emphasis and benefit on this one skill alone.
Knowing how to pick a ‘teachable’ potential employee is a critical skill. Too often business owners find out an employee doesn’t listen, follow through, or do what the owner wants them to consistently (all aspects of having a great attitude) until months after hiring them. This is far too late and very expensive.
Being a great teacher of anyone, is a wonderfully beneficial skill to have in business. It saves you an enormous amount of time as well. To be a great teacher one of the necessary skills is to make it enjoyable and to stimulate the learner’s mind so they engage in self learning. This is the best form of teaching. Teaching isn’t about having people remember what you say, its about them engaging their brain to self learn and understanding.
In the Academy of Business Mastery there is a strong emphasis on this skill and its one all attendees have agreed is extremely beneficial to have.
To be a great teacher you first of all need to learn about learning. If you don’t study learning how can be a great teacher? Understanding left and right brain dominance and integration in teaching absolutely determines how well you teach and how well students learn. There are many other aspects of learning too numerous to go into here, but understanding left and right brain dominance in people is a good place to start.
Leading people to replace you is an interesting and beneficial point.
So often business owners might consider a technically skilled person to become their best choice for a production manager or business manager, yet they don’t realise as soon as an employee goes from a technical role to a supervising/managing role, the title automatically includes a very strong emphasis on people skills, more so than technical skills.
Too many business owners have failed in business because they falsely assumed being technically talented meant they would be successful in business.
This is the biggest fallacy there is in business!
You need to have both technical and people skills to be good in supervisor/management positions in any business and that includes the business owner. Understanding leaders need to create better leaders than themselves not just followers is the key to remember. Our Leadership with Integrity leadership skills course provides great insights into leading, teaching and influence skills, all of which are essential not just for the business owner but also for supervisors and managers, who are rarely taught any of these skills.
Selling to people is a skill everyone in business develops to some extent, but without training it would be like trying to be a doctor or surgeon performing operations by figuring out how to do it by experience alone. It’s not going to happen effectively!
Selling skills is the ability to persuade people to buy from you and not your competitors, after they first make contact with your business. There can be no excuses about the customer not buying from you if they contact your business. They contacted you specifically to buy from a business in your industry, but did you talk them out of buying from you?
Ah, now that’s an interesting question!
In one client’s business from the Academy, the business owner (who learned to sell brilliantly by attending our sales training course online) outsells the other employee by over 100%. The business owner’s conversion rate of quotes won is 60% but the employee who has worked in the business for 4 months and has had extensive training and been in sales for over 12 years has a conversion rate of 15%. This is for a business selling products with an average dollar sale of over $10,000 where customers get 3 to 5 quotes from competitors.
Business owners commonly believe people buy on price alone, which is a fallacy. People consider many criteria and therefore price alone is not the only reason. If this was the case all salespeople would have the same conversion rate, which is almost impossible to find in any business. There would be no competition as all businesses would have to sell every product and service at exactly the same price.
This and dozens of other examples reveals the factual evidence you can dramatically affect whether people buy from your business or not. Getting trained in selling by focusing on people skills (e.g. picking DISC profiles of potential customers in 5-30 seconds) is the key to improved selling skills.
The final people skills point here is about copy-writing for ads and website pages etc.
Here’s an interesting fact… business owners don’t change their ad as soon as they have written it, or as soon as it works. My philosophy, also taught to Academy attendees is that success begins when any ad just starts to work! Success is just the beginning, not the end when it comes to all advertising.
To write great copy that attracts and persuades, it comes from a great understanding of people as you “relate” to the reader with your message. This is the major factor in whether a person likes your promotion and responds with strong interest, or tunes out and buys from a competitor instead. People skills are what determine your ad writing skills.
After reading these points above are you seeing the incredible benefits of improving your people skills?
Keep in mind the additional benefits…
When you learn how to hire great people, your own life gets better and less stressful.
If you could teach every employee how to do their job as good as you or better, what does that make you?
Redundant! And free to do what you want to do in life apart from work!
Isn’t that something worth striving for?
If you had ALL fantastic staff who were reliable, worked hard, always did what they said, learned fast, and had your skills, what difference would it make to your business and quality of life? Read this sentence again so it sinks in.
What difference would it make to the level of stress you have as a business owner?
With great attitude staff who all work as hard as you do, it would attract more customers to buy from your business. Customers rarely refer friends to businesses that have any ‘okay’ staff or a mixture of good and bad. Think about it yourself. You happily refer people to a business after you have had an extensive time engaging with them AND when your total experience was excellent not ‘okay’ or ‘satisfactory’.
When you have ALL excellent employees and are a great leader yourself, then you have a team. A great team is where Together Everyone Achieves More (T E A M) and when you have a team then you get lots of referrals, lots more profit and higher profit margins (more work being done for the same wages) and then you have less stress as your team carry their own weight and don’t need supervision.
When you develop your people skills to a very high level you get rewarded with more time, more profit, less stress and pressure and more time off… i.e. business freedom.
Find out more about what business freedom is and take the Business Freedom Assessment.
You can develop your business skills by studying personal development or psychology. I suggest you think about studying psychology (I did so myself years ago) or, even better, attend the Academy of Business Mastery where your people skills learning can be short-cut by years. Then you’ll see why our attendees all consider it “life changing” for the positive affect it had on their personal and business relationships.
Life is all about living and working with people and the better you understand people the easier they are to get along with and the less stress and frustration they create for you. Is that something you’d like to enjoy in your life? Start today!
Read How to Win Friends and Influence People to start improving your people skills, that’s a good place to start. Learning DISC Profiles is another, so start now… today!