Train Your Employees to be Great at Relationship Building
There is a seismic shift happening today. Technology is changing the world, and not always for the better. For all the benefits it is bringing to businesses, it is coming at a significant cost. The cost is weaker human relationships that are vital to customer experiences, employee experiences, and happiness. Focusing strictly on a digital experience will eliminate customer loyalty and emotional connection to a brand, which is why the Relationship Economy is emerging. Business leaders around the world have to take advantage of technology advancements while balancing a human experience that people crave, want, and need.
What it Takes to Master Rapport Building
No one is born with a rapport-building gene. And not everyone is inclined to be outgoing or to strike up a conversation with people they don’t know. The environment you grow up in plays a big part in how you act. If you had extremely outgoing parents, chances are you will grow up to behave similarly. However, even if you were not exposed to an outgoing environment in your early years, this skill set can certainly be developed and mastered. There are certain sets of characteristics you need to work on in order to master relationship building. To develop strong relationships, you:
- Must be authentic
- Must be obsessively curious
- Must be a great listener
- Must have incredible empathy
- Must love people
Must be Authentic
People have great BS detectors. Your interest in others and your desire to make a connection must be authentic. If you are asking questions merely for appearances, just to make a sale, or to turn the conversation back to yourself, people will see through you. Not being authentic will earn you a poor reputation. You are much better served simply coming out and asking for what you want; people will respect you more. Instead of trying to manipulate people into buying products or services, you must show them you care. You need to demonstrate that you are genuinely interested in others and that you realize they are human beings with lives and not just customers you are trying to sell to.
Must be Obsessively Curious
Those who are the strongest at relationship building are extremely curious. They are dying to learn about others and their experiences. They are curious not only about subjects that interest them but also about unfamiliar subjects. They become investigative reporters, wanting to learn as much as possible about other people’s lives and passions. They truly enjoy learning; they explore what makes human beings tick.
Must be a Great Listener
There is a lot more to being a good listener than just letting the other person talk. You need to be attentive, patient, make good eye contact, not interrupt, ask probing questions, and finally pause to process what you heard before responding.
Must Have Incredible Empathy
One of our strongest human talents is the ability to empathize with another person’s situation. Seeing and understanding someone’s experience from their perspective, walking in their shoes, is key.
Must Love People
No two people are alike. No one is perfect. Everyone is flawed. Yet everyone has unlimited potential. Human beings are incredible. Everyone has a story about their life journey—what they have overcome, their accomplishments, their incredible talents, fears, regrets, and dreams. Each human being has a story inside. The fun is discovering those incredible stories. When you truly serve people, your goal is not to make money or to get them to do what you want, but to take care of their needs and desires.
“Our careers, our companies, our relationships, and indeed our very lives succeed or fail, gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.”
John R. DiJulius III, author of 'The Customer Service Revolution' is president of The DiJulius Group, a customer service consulting firm that works with companies including Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Ritz-Carlton, Nestle, PwC, Lexus, and many more. Contact him at 216-839-1430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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