How to Make a Connection? Major in Hiring Relational People

This is the 5th segment of my discussion with Jenny and Jeremy from Phone.com and CommunicateBetterBlog.com. In this part, we discuss how to connect with someone on the other end of the conversation, while not coming off as manufactured or manipulative.

Mitch:
I think one thing that you mentioned a second ago – about making that emotional contact – I think that’s something I read on your blog a couple days ago. A question I had as I was reading that post about making that connection quickly and not just on some calls when you “feel it,” but really on every call.

How do you guys make that personal connection without feeling manipulative? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but how do you guys consciously do it even when you’re not “feeling it” while not making it feel manipulative or manufactured?

Jeremy:
We probably don’t structure it as much as we maybe should. Jenny and I are both pretty relational people and we just keep it real with customers and when we hire customer service folks, we hire people that we know are capable and relational enough to keep it real with customers.

And you hear it – it comes out in different ways in our customer service team. I remember one girl – I remember walking by her desk – and she was talking about health issues with the customer. We also had a guy, Derek, who got on a call that lasted over 3 hours and of course, they were talking about Macs. We don’t want that to happen all of the time, but each in their own way, they make connections.

It’s probably good to coach that, but we don’t coach that quite enough, but we do major in hiring relational people. You may see a theme on our blog once in a while that we use the Strengths Finder tool. We use that a lot to help develop our team.

Anything you want to add to that, Jenny?

Jenny:
I was going to mention the StrengthsFinder actually because it’s cool to see who has those relational skills and to see the skills and strengths balance out between your team. The Strengths Finder is great.

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