Becoming an entrepreneur is today’s economy is no mean feat. In addition to being highly knowledgeable about your chosen industry, you need to possess a keen business acumen and a strong drive for success. On top of these traits, first-rate people skills are an absolute must for both fledgling and seasoned entrepreneurs. Suffice it to say, if you tend to be anxious in social situations or have difficulty winning people over, your interpersonal skills will need a tune-up. Entrepreneurs interested in strengthening their people skills can benefit from the following pointers.

1. Don’t be Afraid to Tout What Your Business Can Do

Individuals with minimal people skills tend to shy away from bragging. While it’s true that nobody likes a braggart, it’s important to realize that there’s a difference between bragging and selling people on your business. When hobnobbing with prospective clients, don’t be afraid of touting what your enterprise can do for them – and why they’d be making a smart choice by giving you their business. Provided you’re equipped to back up any lofty claims you make, don’t be shy when it comes to speaking positively about your business.

2. Join Local Networking Groups

It’s important for small businessmen and women to stick together. For this reason, many cities and townships have networking groups comprised of local entrepreneurs. The members of these groups are able to learn from one another, build off each other’s strengths and send clients one another’s way. Joining a networking group will help you make valuable local connections, expand your client base and hone your interpersonal skills. On average, these groups congregate several times a month, providing you with ample opportunities to practice group interaction and one-on-one conversation. Any entrepreneur who’s eager to learn more about their local small business scene is urged to join a networking group.

3. Take a Class

If you’re interested in honing your people skills in a more structured environment, consider enrolling in a class devoted to business communication. These courses can be found at a wide range of schools and learning annexes, so finding one in your current locale shouldn’t prove difficult. To ensure that students are well-prepared for the real thing, the classes typically entail a fair amount of practice interactions.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a successful entrepreneur who doesn’t possess top-notch people skills. Sure, a strong work ethic and a clear professional vision are important, but solid interpersonal skills are required to get clients onboard in the first place. Entrepreneurs who are lacking in this area would do well to put the previously discussed tips into practice.