People skills seem to lack in many professions. One reason is because they allow the client to take control, as this was talked about in my first blog, You are begging me to lie to you!!!! People Skills : Part 1 of 2 .
Yes, Knowledge is extremely important and in my job, I use this to my advantage over my competition. As seen by the chart to my right, it strongly states that your people skills are far more important than what you know. Now, I will have to disagree a little on the percentage that they derived from. Not sure what survey was done to compel such a stat. As you can see, they used the word, some experts. Just as in forensic science, I am sure you can find fault and holes in any type of proof offered. It's just the facts of life, that there is always an uncertainty. But I am not here to disprove any theory or study, but most of all, to make more people aware that people skills are and should be, a large part of how you sell and not just products or product knowledge.
Types of people skills and how to use them and or what to look for:
- How to understand people -- A key component in people skills. Sure, people come in all shapes and sizes, but they also have different personalities. People are individuals that seek a connection, but often at times think that since they are the client, that they are always right. This is where you need to identify with their personality quickly and be able to make them feel comfortable, having a rapport with them. This can take time and not just asking a few quick questions as most of your competition would do. Again, stand out from the rest and make that client aware of this, as mentioned in Part 1.
- How to assert yourself and expressing your thoughts & feelings clearly -- We don't want to overload the client with so many facts and numbers at first. This can be done the 2nd or 3rd time. It is very worthwhile taking time to plan your communication, no matter by what method it is delivered, to ensure that you are taking the least amount of time to express the right level of thought in the most receptively simple manner.
- Listening to others -- You want to make them think that they are wanted, not just another client. Ask them their goals. At a later time, get to know a little about them. You don't to tell yourself that you need to do all of this in 5 minutes. And it can be difficult, depending if you are doing this on the phone or in person. So at this time, this is going to be a general statement.
- Positive Criticism -- This might be one of the hardest areas for most of us to handle. Especially when I have a client that tells me that I am asking too many questions. Client: The other 3 lenders only ask 2 to 3 questions and we were done in 5 minutes. Me: Well, I am not them and I am looking out for your best interest. I can do this right or just give you what you want to hear and possibly not the best product.?? Sure...there is more to it than this, but you get the point.
- Influence how others think and act -- This coincides with some of the things that I have talked about. Basically controlling your client and differentiating yourself from your competition.
- Asking for feedback from others & giving quality feedback in return -- This is also key, because you want them to feel a part of the process and not just a client that is money to them. And this can go both ways, when a client gives you feedback, thanking them for it, which in turn makes them feel appreciated.
Here are a few other key pointers to think about:
- Share your passion
- deliver negative feedback artfully
- be a problem solver
- maintain your cool and composure, no matter how emotionally charged the conversation or the person that you are dealing with
- improving self-esteem and confidence...yours and others'
- building relationships that work and last
Here is a book that is worth reading:
People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts (Paperback)
by Robert Bolton "Many people today yearn for warm, positive, meaningful relatedness to others, but seem unable to experience it..."