Having a great product, an amazing team and an IQ over 120 are not sufficient for success. An entrepreneur must also possess effective social skills . They must rely on these skills to form relationships with customers, suppliers, employees and venture capitalists. They have to convince people to love their product, idea and vision. They need to create an environment of collaboration in order to facilitate interaction between employees.
Founders must be the person to lead their team to success and their social skills are critical in this endeavor.
Research suggests that socially competent entrepreneurs create more effective personal relationships , receive more funding , are more financially successful  and have more successful companies  than entrepreneurs who lack effective social skills.
Social competence is therefore a key differentiating factor between the success and failure of an entrepreneur and his venture.
1. Social perceptionIs the ability to accurately perceive others (their traits, intentions and motives). Social perception assists the entrepreneur in:
2. Impression managementInvolves techniques for inducing positive reactions in others. Entrepreneurs with good impression management skills:
3. PersuasivenessInvolves the ability to change others’ views or behavior in desired directions.Persuasiveness is important when obtaining financing, recruiting key employees, interacting with customers and conducting negotiations.
4. Social adaptability
Is the ability to adapt and feel comfortable in a wide range of situations. Entrepreneurs with good social adaptability can.
5. Social expressivenessThe ability to express one’s emotions and feelings clearly in order to generate enthusiasm in others. Social expressiveness is related to success for entrepreneurs in the high-tech industry .
All five of the factors that underlie social competence are essential for entrepreneurial success. They each contribute to an entrepreneur’s ability to connect with employees, customers, prospects and venture capitalists. Social competence is the key to selling a vision, inspiring greatness and leading a team to success.
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If, after reading the five factors that underlie social competence, you are aware of areas of self-improvement, below are steps to help you increase your social competence.
Lacking social competence will not completely stop you from succeeding. However, it will be an obstacle that you will continually need to navigate. Below are five steps to help you with this process.
Aspiring entrepreneurs as well as those with proven track records should reflect honestly upon their social competence. By identifying areas for improvement, they can proactively increase the social skills that may be hindering their progress within a business world that values personal relationships. The success of your business may depend on it.
 Baron, R.A., Markman, G.D., 2000. Beyond social capital: the role of entrepreneurs’ social competence in their financial success. Academy of Management Executive 14 (1), 106 – 116.
 Vesper, K.H., 1990. New Venture Strategies, second ed. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
 Cable, D.M., Shane, S., 1997. A prisoner’s dilemma approach to entrepreneur – venture capitalist relationships. Acad. Manage. Rev. 32, 142 – 176.
 Duchesneau, D.A., Gartner, W.B., 1990. A profile of new venture success and failure in an emerging industry. J. Bus. Venturing 5, 297 – 312.