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4 Key Skills to Change the Conversation

March 15, 2013 • Uncategorized

The role of client-facing team members is an important one.  More often than not, they are the first point of contact with a customer or potential customer.  While they are not technically “sales people,” in essence they are.  They are a critical part of how we, as a company or organization, tell our story. Examples exist throughout our every day world.

Take the banking industry.  A customer visits a local bank branch and interacts face-to-face with someone at the front desk.  This may be the only interaction the customer has with the financial institution.  So what might happen if that front desk person had been taught basic relationship management skills?  These skills would allow them to discover a customer’s needs and determine if there are more ways the bank can support the client.  The relationship than becomes relational instead of transactional and that is where the power to shift business lies!

A few basic ways to change the conversation:

Discover

Asking questions is a basic concept but often we don’t take the time to do it.  A good question engages the customer, demonstrates a genuine interest, and helps uncover the customer’s needs.  The discovery process is important because it establishes a meaningful relationship and creates a platform to introduce the customer to other services that can be a solution for them.

Anticipate

Anticipation sends powerful messages about how much you value a relationship.  Anticipation doesn’t cost a lot of money.  It can be recognizing a key moment- an upcoming birthday or career change.  Or it can be anticipating the next interaction and thinking about the questions you can ask.

Tell vs. Sell

Client-facing team members are in a unique position to share the “story” of your company.  These team members might not be directly selling, but they can share powerful stories that bring a company to life.  By telling a simple story, we demonstrate vividly how we provide value.  Think about it – as a kid would you rather the ice cream man sell you how amazing the Rainbow Popsicle is or tell you that his son had it yesterday and said it was the best thing in the truck?  Stories work.  Build a database of great ones and use them.

Ask for what you want

I used to say to an athlete, “Hey, if you ever hear of a player who isn’t happy, we would love to meet with him.”  As you can imagine, not much came of that.  But then I re-framed it.  “ Hey, next week when you are playing the Cubs, can you ask Fred Flintstone if he is happy with his agent?  If he is, great.  If not, we’d love to meet with him.”  Asking for an introduction is much more powerful than asking for a referral.  Encouraging and supporting client facing team members to ask for introductions and not be afraid to make introductions will help the overall business.

Change the conversation!

Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.