7 Essential Communication Skills

7 Essential Communication Skills

Whether you know it or not, we’re all salespeople. We all build relationships and inspire change with our words. Behind the best salespeople is world-class communication. If you want to master the art of communication, you need to recognize and use these 7 essential communication skills. 

The 7 essential communication skills are:

  1. Active listening
  2. Rapport 
  3. Empathy 
  4. Proactivity
  5. Justification
  6. Agreeability
  7. Credibility


Below, you’ll see a general overview of each communication skill with examples of how they might be used in a customer-facing phone call. By the end of this short article, you’ll be able to teach your team how to incorporate these 7 communication skills into your calls more often and identify them as they come up.


Want to test your knowledge? Take the short quiz at the bottom to see if you really know which skill is which.

7 Essential Communication Skills

1. Active listening – confirming your understanding of the other person’s main point. Active listening means being completely focused on what the other person is saying and listening with “all of your senses.”

Here are some phrases that use active listening: 

  • “It sounds like you’re happy with this decision.”
  • “If I understand it correctly, Jim has to sign off on this before we proceed.”
  • “So you’re saying that we should go on this trip. Is that right?”


2. Rapport – discussing non-business topics, like family, recreation, or current events to build a relationship. Building rapport with your customers is important because customers who feel at ease and connected to their representatives are more willing to work with their representatives to realize successful call outcomes.

Here are some phrases that use rapport: 

  • “How’s the weather?”
  • “My car does the same thing!”
  • “I lived in Seattle before moving to St. Louis.”


3. Empathy  sharing the feelings of another individual and expressing understanding. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes.

Here are some phrases that use empathy: 

  • “I understand what you’re going through.”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that.”
  • “That must be difficult.”


4. Proactivity – assertively proposing the next step. Proactivity propels action. 

Here are some phrases that use proactivity:

  • “I can take care of that for you.”
  • “I’m able to help you with that project.”
  • “Let’s do this: I’ll call you in 30 minutes and we’ll talk in detail.”


5. Justification – offering a reason behind a choice or request. When you justify something, you offer a “why”, a fact, or an example that has helped you come to a particular conclusion.

Here are some phrases that use justification:

  • “Based on what you told me, this product might be the right fit for you.”
  • “In that case, it sounds like introducing Katherine to our CEO might be the best next step.”
  • “That’s why this is so important to us.”


6. Agreeability – showing support for another person’s position or perspective. Agreeability means that you agree with the other person’s point or at least part of it.

Here are some phrases that use agreeability:

  • “You’re right.”
  • “That makes sense.”
  • “I completely agree with you.”


7. Credibility – bolstering the perception of a company, product, or service by referring to relevant accolades, experiences, or social proof.

Here are some phrases that use credibility:

  • “We won an award for the best customer service last month.”
  • “We have 15 years of experience in the industry.”
  • “We have a great reputation for reliability.”








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Hope you learned a lot! Test your 7 communication skills knowledge by clicking here!

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