Talking about business skills is synonymous with knowing how to negotiate . This ability is almost as important as breathing. If we stop to think about it carefully, all, absolutely all our decisions are based on a negotiation.
Chris Voss, former US FBI hostage negotiator, often says that we average between 3 and 7 negotiations a day: from crossing the street to buying a coffee, to deciding – usually among several people – which restaurant to go to. to eat one noon. And he dares to say that our lives can turn 180 degrees simply by improving our bargaining power .
There is a huge list of business skills. Here we list a series of them, considered the most essential:
- Good first impression: Taking care of our personal appearance, smiling, respecting personal spaces and showing a positive attitude we can make a good impression. According to Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy, an expert on first impressions, when we meet a person we want to draw conclusions about two basic questions: Can I trust this person? Can I respect him?
- Active listening: More than asking the right questions —which also—, what is truly important is knowing how to listen in order to offer optimal answers to what the client needs. One trick is to paraphrase what the other person is saying, ask for more information, ask questions, and give feedback .
- Detect and arouse interests through communication: Through language, gestures and other techniques we can detect interests or make the interlocutor worry about new ones. In the digital world, formats have been democratized or new ones have appeared, so the ideal would be for each message to adapt to the medium. That way, we will have many more opportunities for what we are saying to sink in.
- Persuasive attitude: It is about convincing, either using empathy, emotional intelligence , glibness or directly thanks to well-managed honesty. In this way we will be able to inspire trust and build links.
- Planning and resolution capacity: With good organization, decision making is simplified. And if, in addition, we are able to solve problems quickly and efficiently, our chances of “falling in love” are multiplied. For better or worse, digitization has accustomed us to expecting results almost at the snap of a finger.
- Present reasoned solutions: Nobody wants to be taken for a fool and that is why it is essential that, in addition to providing answers, there is also a strong argument to support them. If, no matter how much we reason a decision, we are not convinced by the explanation, there is nothing to do.
- Reach agreements: This is where persuasion comes in. It will have been of little use to be impeccable throughout the sales process if it does not culminate in a purchase. A happy outcome requires knowing when and how it should be closed: it is better to conclude the agreement well than to close it on the terms that we want but in a less clean way.
The digital age has caused a few other skills to be added to this list to be able to deal with the changing environment that we face every day in the 21st century. Networking —or the ability to make new professional contacts and maintain existing ones— will be of great help to us, especially to create an environment of trust. Resilience is also important to the extent that, with so much competition, we can easily find ourselves with successive rejections. And, finally, another key is “ learnability” or the ability to continuously learn to be constantly updated with sales tools and methodologies. Otherwise, we could be losing potential customers.