4 Ways to Connect Emotionally
4 Ways to Connect Emotionally By Colleen Francis
It’s no secret that lasting success in sales, no matter what kind of market you’re working in, relies on building and maintaining long-term business relationships with your clients. Indeed, most of us get plenty of advice on activities we can do to help make that happen—from follow-up calls to thank-you notes. As a sales trainer, I’ve noticed that what’s often missing from that advice is a recognition of what needs to come first…the missing element that is at the root of all great communications.
If you want your efforts to be meaningful and memorable, you must connect emotionally with people. Without that element being present in how you interact with others, no amount of hard work will help boost your sales performance…and no amount of ambition will get you to where you want to be in your organization.
Consider the compelling results of recent market research on the subject. A 2003 Gallup study suggests that no matter how high a company’s customer satisfaction levels may appear to be, “satisfying customers without creating an emotional connection with them has no real value. None at all.” But when Gallup looked at customers who credited emotional connection as part of their deep satisfaction and loyalty to a store, they also found that those customers visited that business more often and spent more.
Don’t’ lose sight of what it means to connect emotionally with someone. It’s not enough to just pick up the phone and call clients and talk about yourself, or tell them all the great things that your product or service you can do.
Connecting emotionally with someone starts with understanding that it’s not all about you…it’s about them. When we engage in open, honest communications, we connect with others with empathy. We listen first. And we demonstrate that we understand what it’s like to be in another’s shoes. Indeed, empathy is an important skill and one I discuss in further detail in the book I co-wrote with Steven Gaffney, entitled “Honesty Sells.” (Available May 11, 2009, from John Wiley and Sons)