If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ll know that soft skills are very valuable for candidates. If you can prove you’re a great communicator, a team player, and an expert problem solver, you’re a shoo-in for an interview.
That’s because soft skills are extremely valuable to businesses, no matter what size they are. As well as helping your internal processes run like clockwork, having strong soft skills embedded throughout your company can help you make more sales. Even if you’re a small company or a sole trader, you can win more business by developing stronger soft skills as an individual.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are transferable traits that can be used in a huge variety of positions. This includes communication, teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, and public speaking. Soft skills can also include more personal qualities, such as empathy, positivity, and humility.
Few people are naturally talented in all these areas. Fortunately, soft skills can be learned, refined and improved, just as hard skills can.
The value of soft skills
The more cogs you add to the wheel, the more complex it becomes. That means that as your team grows, so will your dependence on soft skills. Soft skills like patience, communication and teamwork among your employees allow your business to run smoothly.
But even if you’re a sole trader or one-person team, soft skills are crucial for opening more business opportunities. With strong soft skills, you’ll find you’re more equipped to address the various needs and perspectives of a wider range of customers.
5 ways soft skills can help you win more business
See how these 5 soft skills can give you the boost you need to win more sales and grow your business.
1. Public speaking helps you reach more people
Speaking slots at networking and industry events help you get your message out there loud and clear. While one-to-one conversations and social media connections are great, you can reach a much wider audience if you’re prepared to get up there behind the lectern. This can lead to business partnerships and even new clients.
Public speaking isn’t easy — but like many soft skills, practice makes perfect. Mistakes don’t matter — in fact, they can often make your audience empathise with you more. So next time a speaking opportunity comes along, don’t pass it up.
2. Good communication results in strong sales pitches
Sales is where soft skills really come into their own, but communication is a two-way street. As well as explaining your proposition in a persuasive way, you need to listen to the pain points and needs of your potential customers.
If you can truly understand and respond to your customers’ needs, you can create a strong sales pitch that’s sure to clinch the deal.
3. Empathy helps create connections
All businesses have one thing in common: people. Despite the advancements in AI and technology, all businesses still have to work with people to make sales and retain customers. That’s why empathy is a key skill to embed in your company culture.
Empathy means understanding the feelings of others, and it can make a big difference when it comes to winning business. Potential customers are people first and foremost — so taking the time to empathise with them on a professional level is a great way to start a business relationship.
4. Critical thinking leads to trust
Promising the earth is pointless if you can’t deliver it. Think critically about what your business can offer, and be honest about it with your potential customers. They’ll appreciate your truthfulness, which will lead to greater trust between you.
Studies suggest there’s a correlation between trust and economic success in business — so it’s clear that critical thinking and honesty can have a big impact on your sales.
5. Digital literacy opens new opportunities
Small business owners are always trying to make the most of every moment in the working day. Improving your digital skills can help you save a lot of time. From improving your typing speed to learning to create a website, a little investment in your digital development can go a long way.
Understanding the digital world can also open new business opportunities for you. From online advertising to an optimised blog, implementing digital skills in your business can help you make more sales.
How to show off your soft skills to potential clients
To prove you have the soft skills your potential clients are looking for, you need to live and breathe them. Make sure every email and phone call oozes empathy. Exhibit strong leadership in every project. And where you identify soft skills gaps in your own work, invest in training and development.
Potential customers expect businesses to have great soft skills, so they can easily communicate and work with them. Unlike job hunters, businesses don’t have a CV where they can list all the great soft skills they embody. But your website is often the first place potential customers will look to find out what you can offer – so you need to give them the right impression.
Establish a trustworthy tone of voice across your online marketing channels with the help of a professional freelance copywriter. It’s a simple way to show potential customers you have the skills they need — without spelling it out for them.
Find out if a freelance copywriter is the right choice for your business in this Q&A.