The customer at the center of attention

Thomas Gelmi knows how our behavior can have a positive influence on the emotional state of our customers

Our decision-making behavior is decisively shaped by emotions. “This means that wherever we want to influence decisions, we need to pay attention to the customer”s emotional state – particularly in sales and distribution, but also when collaborating with internal customers,” says Thomas Gelmi. According to Gelmi, our own behavior is also a key factor for the emotional state of our customer.

Frequently, however, we are encountering salespersons who are much more focusing on their own emotional state so as to achieve a feeling of strength and security. “This leads, among other things, to their tendency of talking a lot while listening just a little,” says the expert for Personal and Interpersonal Competence, adding: “These behaviors do not necessarily make the customer feel comfortable. Salespersons who talk a lot – and, moreover, only about themselves, their products and services – tend to create a subliminal feeling of inferiority, powerlessness, and resistance for most customers.”

What needs to be at the forefront, however, is the emotional state of the customer. Consequently, the customer must be placed at the center of attention. The most effective way is to demonstrate genuine interest in the customer, for example by asking customer-centric questions. And beyond that: “Listen attentively and authentically so that the other person realizes that you are really listening. Listen with the intention of understanding what your customer actually needs and not just to be able to respond as well as possible,” adds Gelmi.

The key to real dialogue is to create real, authentic contact. The sparring partner for top management has a final piece of advice: “Do not only ask questions and summarize what you have heard, but also express assumptions and beliefs that you recognize in the client”s statements. This also includes introducing your own ideas or impulses, which can help your conversation partner to view the topic in a new light. Good listeners never take control of the conversation in such a way that they themselves or their own interests become the content.”

Additional information on Thomas Gelmi and contact details can be found at

Keywords:Thomas Gelmi, self- and relationship competence, interpersonal Competence, interpersonal competence, controlling thoughts, social elasticity, effective cooperation, successful teamwork, personality


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