When Levy* (fictitious name) came to see me, he quietly walked into the room. He chose a seat far away from me. He sat in the chair, his back straight, his hands firmly crossed in front of him. When I asked him how he was, he answered, “Good.” Asked if he would like a warm cup of tea, he said “no” then he quickly glanced at his watch as if he suddenly had an appointment somewhere else. Taking in Levy’s behaviours, I knew what I needed to do to make him feel I am trustworthy of having him as a client.
Through my talking with him, I found out his father criticized him a lot, often telling him he wasn’t good enough. He said his family was very much money-oriented, with success determined on how much money each member made and saved. Laughing nervously, he said the bigger the house, the bigger the success. Can you relate?
Levy felt a lot of pressure to perform. He attributed his ‘lack’ of words to his desire for success. To him, if he kept his head down busy making money, then he had no time to ‘chit chat’ with others. Apparently, building sustainable relationships hadn’t crossed his mind?
When I asked him, “What do you need right now?” Levy looked at me, puzzled. He obviously wasn’t used to being asked what he needed. I patiently waited for his answer, keeping silent to give him plenty of time to think and feel what he wanted/needed to say. After a while, he looked at me and said, “I’m not sure.”
Have you ever been in a situation where a customer was hesitant?
I acknowledged Levy’s answer and built upon it. “What are you unsure about?” I asked him. He replied that he wanted to know more about what I could do for him as an Emotional Intelligence Coach. Sounds reasonable, right?
Instead of listing a myriad of results which may or may not have anything to do with him, I preferred to keep focusing on him. I asked him what service he was needing the most in that moment.
Can you imagine what it feels like to get clear as to what it is you really want?
Levy changed posture in his seat. He moved his body towards me, a gesture which to me indicates someone is becoming open to know someone else.
He cleared his throat and said that he had been married for a few years already. Asked if his couple had any children, he looked away and said no, that they were trying, but it was not working so far.
Seeing his face drooping in sadness, I asked again, “What do you need right now?” and I smiled gently at him, waiting patiently for his answer. For the first time since being in that meeting room with me, he made eye contact and smiled briefly. This to me indicates someone is becoming willing to know someone else a little more.
I offered Levy a warm cup of tea again. This time, he said yes. He wrapped his hands around the cup for comfort and shared with me how the in-vitro trials to get pregnant had proven really hard on him and his wife. He wanted to be supportive, but didn’t know how. He felt his wife was getting resentful towards him and he wanted to do something about it. I thanked him for his trust in me.
Let me ask you…
Why do we become impatient?
Why do we aggressively pursue the next sale?
I believe the answer is, because we think we can force people to buy.
Is it though? How would Levy ever agree to become my client (and he did) if I had forced his hand from the moment I met him?
Clearly, pursuing aggressively the next sale does Not work.
With this in mind…
How do things become better?
I believe, things become better when we focus on
becoming genuinely curious. Ask your client, ’What do you need right now?’
becoming an active listener. Listen to their needs.
becoming accountable. Take action based on their needs.
Here are four rock solid tips to assist you who want your customer to know you, like you, and trust you:
Make your customer your only priority in the moment. As a Coach, how long do you think any client would stay if I shuffled papers, picked up another call, or sounded distracted when talking with them? … Therefore, make each customer the only priority in the moment. When a customer is in front of me – whether in person, via Skype or on the phone – it is as if the outside world ceases to exist for me. In that moment, they have my undivided attention. In return, they feel seen and validated. When we feel seen and validated by another person, we tend to like them a lot faster, have you noticed?
Listen to and build upon your customer’s answers. When Levy said he was unsure what I could do for him, I could have gone in many directions, but I preferred bringing the focus on him. When a customer is unsure, there is something within them that needs clarity. Always go for the clarity piece. This is where the sale occurs because the customer sees we offer what they need.
Never take your customer’s answers personally. The first time I asked Levy if he wanted a warm cup of tea, he flatly said no. If I had taken his answer personally, would I have offered him a second cup? … By refusing to take your customer’s answers personally, you keep the focus on them. Be genuinely curious to discover your customer’s needs.
Exercise patience. Not every customer is a social butterfly who might yip and yap galore at the sight of us. Remember that some people withdraw in a social setting. Therefore, show compassion to them, say you understand what it feels like to be in their shoes. Make the effort to gradually bring them to feel the value you offer. When we feel another person gets us, we tend to start knowing and trusting them.
Now imagine somebody has just read these tips…
What do you believe will be their greatest challenge?
Before he came to see me, Levy did his best with what he knew. This is why as soon as someone asked him to be more genuinely relational (supportive), he often retreated to what was familiar to him, being a man of few words.
My name is Anne Beaulieu and I am an Emotional Intelligence Coach who assists her clients in creating genuine bonds with the people they care for. To schedule a free 15 minutes E.I. coaching session where I assist you discover what it is you really want, follow the easy instructions at https://meetme.so/AnneBeaulieu
Your Emotional Intelligence Coach,