In today’s technologically advanced day-and-age, key phrases like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI) have become increasingly common. Allow me to introduce a new buzzword that is sure to gain traction in the immediate future: conversational intelligence.
Simply put, conversational intelligence is known as humans’ innate ability to connect and engage with others. According to author Judith Glaser—who originally coined this phrase— conversations are dynamic, interactive, and inclusive. Despite the newfound prevalence of virtual interactions, the act of conversation remains an incredibly impactful and important part of our everyday lives.
It comes as no surprise that most conversationally-savvy people work as sales representatives, recruiters, and advisors. In the staffing and recruiting industry, the ability to connect with clients and candidates alike is critical to fostering meaningful relationships and driving successful engagements.
Looking to see how you stack up in terms of conversational intelligence? If you find yourself in a customer-facing role, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much does your prospective client speak? Don’t be the one to carry the conversation—let your client speak!
- How much time do you spend learning about the prospective client’s pain points or challenges? Most people fail to realize that to be a great salesperson, you must listen first and act Provide your client with ample time to talk about their difficulties, then set up a plan to help them solve those challenges.
- Can you differentiate your brand from that of your competition? Before you sell, you must possess an intimate understanding of your product or service. Being able to talk about what separates you from the rest of the pack is pivotal in your sales success.
- Do you speak in specific terms or in wandering generalities? It is critical to get your point across efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, saying less can mean more.
- How many times do you say “Um” or “Like”? Try to avoid these words, as they can make you sound less confident and composed.
A lot of these same questions can also be applied to recruiters. In my role at Acara, I co-join nearly every intake call or client kickoff meeting. During these conversations, the most accomplished recruiters share these common characteristics:
- They know how to proceed through the conversation and answer questions compellingly. While years of experience presents a significant advantage for recruiters, knowing how to approach each discussion is equally—if not more—important.
- They can easily relay information and get to the heart of the discussion quickly. A great recruiter will know exactly what to say and when to say it. They are adept at simplifying conversations and providing key information that is easy to digest.
- They ask the best questions. Recruiters are skilled at asking pointed questions to prospective clients, enabling them to gain valuable information about the clients’ wants and needs.
- They have developed a rapport with hiring managers. These close relationships allow expert recruiters to hone in on what matters most to their clients.
- They speak prudently but professionally. The best recruiters rarely ever have transitions such as “Um” or “Like”. Rather, they are specific and definitive with their words.
If you are a recruiter, sales representative, or customer advisor, use these questions to help enhance your client interactions. By working to improve your conversational intelligence, you can conduct discussions that will more effectively decipher your clients’ needs and boost your overall sales success.