If you are in business, you want to better connect with your customers and/or potential customers. When we truly connect with others, we have the door open to more opportunities, deeper relationships, and bottom-line sales.
So, how do we better connect with others?
I have developed and taught the following to my staff as well as to others in people-connecting industries (which is pretty much all of our industries). My staff calls this the “Laffy-Taffy” approach to connection after a candy’s name. You’ll see why:
Our customers bring us many things. Some are evident and we see/hear them. Other things are “buried” and we have to explore and discover them.
How do get beneath the surface? The next steps are critical…
We have to actively and intentionally Listen, Ask, and Feel. Far too often we assume what our customers want. We push our agenda and don’t listen well. Our customers will share with us, but we need to truly listen to them, ask more questions, and empathize with them. Do not skip over this step! This is where the real connection begins!
Once you have spent the appropriate time in Listening, Asking, and Feeling, then (and only then) should you move to these next three steps. Think – based upon what the customer just shared with you, think through the options. Act – based on what you’ve just heard, take action. Don’t push your agenda. Act on THEIR agenda! And always Follow-Up/Follow-Through.
Does this process take a long time to do? Perhaps at the beginning, it might. If you are not comfortable with it, it may take a bit of time. But after practice, you will become far more confidently competent in your interactions. Your customers will open up more. They will share their appreciation of your efforts. They’ll tell others about you. You’ll get results.
Make great connections with your customers. Practice LAF TAF every chance you get. It makes a difference!