Becoming Influential and Likeable in Business and Life: Skills for Effective Communication (part 2 of a 3 part series)

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Guest post by Mai of Woodland Belle, as part of a three part (three day) series.

Running a business isnt merely about making and selling a product. We are dealing with people, and people are complicated. We are engaging in emotions””pride, insecurities, secret motivations””not just their wallets. In order to have a successful, prosperous business, you need the power to influence people. You need skills to communicate effectively, appeal to peoples wants and desires, as well as to mitigate conflicts. Persuading people to like you (and what you do!) will take you far in life””not only will it work with customers and other business connections, but with everyone you know.

PART TWO (read part one of this series here)

Finding out what motivates people–what they desire most, is key to getting past their outer defenses. So we must discover”¦ what motivates people?

In part one of this series, we took a look at how the desire for importance influences our decisions and how to utilize this desire to your advantage. In part two of this series, we will explore the second top motivator:

2. We want to be heard and listened to.

We want a friendly, sympathetic listener to whom we can unburden ourselves.

Key Communication Tips

* So, be an excellent, attentive listener. Do not interrupt–listen. Dont think about what you are going to say next. See things from that persons perspective. Govern what you say by what you would want to hear if you were the listener.

*Express sympathy; we crave it.

* No one is interested in your concerns. People are mainly interested in their own concerns, and how something will affect them. So, dont ramble on about yourself or things that dont relate to or affect the other person. The other person may nod and try to appear like they care, but most of us are wearied by such talk.

* Care about what others want. Become genuinely interested in others. All of us cant help but like a person who admires us.

* To be interesting, be interested. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Business Tie-Ins

* These tips are particularly beneficial when handling customer service. If someone comes to you with a question, request, complaint, or other issue, govern your response by what you yourself would like to hear if you were in their situation. Always be kind and courteous, even if its difficult (and trust me, there will be times when youd rather give that person a swift kick in the rear than tolerate their snarky remarks.)

* After asking your customers how they feel about your work, listen to them. Seriously consider product suggestions, special requests, and even criticism. Taking the time to see things from your buyers perspective is essential to becoming successful.

* Be sympathetic to your customer. Instead of becoming defensive or bossy, allow her to feel as though you hear what she has to say, that you understand where she is coming from, and that you sympathize with her situation. Nine times out of ten, this will diffuse any tension and the situation will be resolved peacefully. She just wants to be heard.

* Take an interest in others and what they do. Be supportive in the creative community and dont be afraid to promote others work. Break out of your box and take up a charitable cause and do something for the common good, share helpful tips with others on your blog, participate in a giveaway, or just chit chat with a fellow artist or customer. Even if these things dont directly relate to sales, making an impact in the lives of others is much more important. Im a firm believer in reaping what you sow. If you sow kindness and generosity, you will receive it.

Communication tips taken from Dale Carnegies highly recommended book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

About Mai. Mai McKemy designs jewelry and hair accessories for her store, Woodland Belle, in Asheville, North Carolina.  She has been running her business full-time since 2008, and enjoys teaching other creative entrepreneurs ways to be successful.

**Stop by tomorrow for Part 3 of this series, Becoming Influential and Likeable in Business and Life, from Mai…


4 comments | Click here to reply

Thank you so much for sharing such a great info!!
Sima recently posted..Chic Disc Necklace -Your Name Or Word On A Sterling Silver Disc with cursive font – HandStamped By S – 7000

Sima | April 21st, 2011 at 11:52 am

You’re welcome Sima! Thank you for stopping by.

Mai | April 21st, 2011 at 2:53 pm

A great series. I Facebooked / Tweeted one of my favourite parts. Thanks for your writing!
Drew recently posted..Morning Dose of Colour

Drew | April 29th, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Thank you Drew! Mai and I really appreciate that.
-Brittni

papernstitch | April 29th, 2011 at 1:51 pm
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