Dr. Relly Nadler: Today we are going to look at sales and service performance. So taking some of the ei competencies that we have been talking about in regards to leadership and how it translates to sales and customer service.
Some of the questions that we are going to look at today are:
- How can emotional intelligence skills help you to be a better sales person?
- What are the best ways to understand and address the underlying needs of your customers?
- How can you communicate to be a trusted advisor to your customers?
- How do you deal with customer complaints?
- How do you deal with that angry customer?
The answers to those questions are the focus of this session.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine is an award-winning international speaker, she is the author of nine books, including the best selling, Three Days to Happiness. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Liah was a highly successful IBM account executive in computer sales before becoming an attorney in Atlanta. She has also been a CNN broadcaster, so she has wide and vast talent. She has presented in over 400 cities on four continents. She is well known for her expertise on emotional intelligence in the workplace, leadership and motivational communications, stress management, communication skills and sales achievement. Her website is www.lifekraft.com.
Liah welcome to the show.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: Thank you so much and thank you for asking me.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Well good. I’m glad you are able to make this for us. For our audience, why don’t you give us a little bit of your background and then also zero in on some of the work with sales and service. You have a very interesting and unique background.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: I do have a unique background, and I think it’s good to have experienced many different types of employment, that way you can relate very well. One of the things that we are talking about this morning is in sale and service. As you mentioned, I had worked with IBM and had a wonderful training through them that taught us how to deal with customers and how to sell computers. It certainly raised my awareness of what it takes to be in a customer service orientated job that you have to be constantly aware of the feelings and emotions and responses of the person you are speaking, which, in turn, actually makes you a better person.
You’ve talked a lot about what I do, but one of the things that I’d like to mention is that I do one-on-one consulting today, business consulting and otherwise consulting with business owners and CEOs and anyone who is looking to increase what they are doing. I also deal with and consult with sales reps who are wanting to go beyond where they have been before. That requires the development of emotional intelligence skills along with the other mental, logical resources we have.
I love that. I love that people grow and expand what they thought that they could do.
Dr. Relly Nadler: So you really have been on both fronts. You’ve been actually there in front of the people that you have been selling to and having to manage your own emotions and having to read what is going on and then also taking that and then teaching those skills to a series of people.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: Absolutely, and in my own business, managing and working with all of my employees and influencing them, motivating them, and seeing the incredible response and shift and change. As I teach and consult on leadership as well as sales and service and that sort of thing, it’s like working in a laboratory where you try something and you see it work. You see that it is stunning and that’s wonderful.
Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s great. It’s true, there’s practice and you have the laboratory every day if you are in organizations trying out these skills. I think also for the listeners, what works in one situation may not work in every situation. So as the leader, you really need to have individuated and lead these situations, but also be flexible in how you deliver them.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: And, have a whole bag of tricks that you can call upon.
Dr. Relly Nadler: I can imagine, from just our conversations, that your bag is full. You have a big bag of tricks.
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: I’ve worked with a lot of different circumstances and situations, yes. I think that, of course as you are so well versed in emotional intelligence skills, either makes the world go round or they stop it cold. It doesn’t matter truly if it’s in business or if it’s in your personal life. I have heard so many people say about individuals who have reacted poorly in a business situation; I’ve heard them say something like, gee, I’d hate to be that person’s significant other.
That’s probably very true.
Dr. Relly Nadler: In that situation, these people read it; they know how they are going to be at home. Say a little bit more in general and then we will get really specific about the skills that you are able to teach and tell people about. Why do you think emotional intelligence is so important for sales? A lot of what we have been talking about is really for leaders. In that sales/customer service role, how does the emotional intelligence play a role?
Liah Kraft-Kristaine: Well, in sales; sales is definitely customer service and customer service keeps the sales. Those two things are very much the same thing. It required so much more empathy than any other position and empathy really means that ability to read the response of the person you are interacting with. If you have multiple people you are interacting with; a husband and wife for example, or a team that you are presenting to in a business situation, it’s multiplied 10-fold, at least, because you are having to gauge and judge the reactions of each thing that has transpired. Whether it is something that you have said, or whether it’s the response from each other if the other persons that are involved might even illicit and objection or a response that then needs to be dealt with.
A salesperson, a really excellent salesperson, is an extraordinary commodity for any business.; that person who is aware that they are the representative of the business, they are the face and the voice of the business.
Listen to the entire interview above.