Work on active listening
Most people think they know what listening is—it is the act of hearing someone say something. But there is a concept called active listening that can help improve your communication skills.
Active listening is based on the idea that when people look like they are listening, most of the time they are really doing something else or listening poorly at best. What are we doing instead?
Any number of things from preparing our response before the person is even done talking to assuming what someone is going to say then letting our mind drift to other thoughts.
This kind of listening can hurt your communication because you miss key points and subtleties and your resulting answers will not be as powerful and personalized to what the speaker said.
You can improve your active listening by asking questions as the speaker goes along, without being rude of course, or training yourself to use verbal or non verbal queues every few moments to keep yourself focused and let the speaker know you are, truly, listening.
Opt for verbal or in person communication whenever possible
With today's technology, it can seem silly to ever have a meeting or strategy session in person. The advantage of in person meetings comes down largely to communications. Virtual meetings can be inefficient as participants are distracted by other things on their computer or in their workplace. Despite technological advances, there can still be hiccups in the virtual meeting such as poor audio quality or presentation materials not functioning.
Consider the cost of each meeting, especially regarding efficiency, time, and money. Decide if it is feasible to shift more meetings back to in person to improve communication. These meetings have to be well planned, though, or they can be just as big a time sink as any other type of meeting.
They are buying a relationship, not just a product or service
Amazon is great for buying all sorts of things from bicycles to toasters, but what it can't provide is personal, knowledgeable customer service and expertise on the items. Nor can it provide a relationship that will extend forward to future purchases, as much as they try to spam you with personalized recommendation emails.
It is much the same in business. Many businesses and customers don't just want to buy a product. If they did, there are a hundred and one ways they could do that.. When they come to you, whatever your product or service, they are also seeking a relationship.
Remembering this is key to great communication and customer service. If you forget to take the time to establish and nurture this relationship, that customer may buy whatever you are selling but you can be sure they are not coming back and won't be recommending you.
Improving your communication is business starts with actively listening to what your customers and other stakeholders are actually saying, not what you think they are going to say. Only then can you form a accurate and effective response.
Once you have this mastered, your business relationships will flourish and with it many more clients and customers that come to you not only because you have a great product but because they know a great person is standing behind what they are purchasing and that you will be there when they need you.