By Charlotte Larsen and HUMI
Unaffected by online shopping, construction chaos and lack of parking spaces in the city center, Antik Blå is doing well in Vintapperstrædet in the heart of Odense. According to owner Charlotte Larsen, it's about mind-set and about shifting focus to where something can be done - and making it fun. Below, Charlotte talks about how the meeting with Emotional Intelligence and NLP has strengthened her business with returning customers, happy employees and a healthy bottom line.
Is Emotional Intelligence Really a Necessary Action in Today's Retail? Can't you just take any course in sales technique or customer service? Charlotte Larsen answers: “
- I can best explain Emotional Intelligence and NLP by comparing it to a technology, “just an“ inner ”technology”. An "inner technology" which is a tool and which, with the help of empathy, enables me to navigate with wisdom among the world's most complicated "machines", namely the customers "Charlotte explains.
- “Emotional Intelligence and NLP strengthen my customer relationships and help to give me a profit on the bottom line. As a side benefit… if it is not really the gain, Charlotte says with a smile in her voice ", then the mastery of the" inner technology "gives joy, a fantastic calm and a good night's sleep".
Close to turning the key
Charlotte, as a store owner, has not always had the pleasure of a good night’s sleep. After three violent burglaries in her business, one month apart in 2008, Charlotte was close to turning the key. She felt trapped in a system where those who were actually supposed to help did not help. The police would not go into the case and the insurance would not cover. The episode triggered a stress reaction, and Charlotte had a hard time figuring out how to turn the situation around.
"No one knew what to say or do," says Charlotte. At that time, my friend took me to an introductory course at HUMI, and here was something that caught my interest.
I subsequently entered a coaching course, and already after the first session, the peak of my stress was taken away ”.
After her coaching course with Per Poulsen from HUMI, Charlotte first took a Business Practitioner and then a Master Practitioner in Emotional Intelligence and NLP, also at HUMI.
Focus on what you can do about it
- “I have learned to change focus. And think differently. There is no point in focusing on external circumstances that I can not do anything about. That a light rail is being built in Odense is a condition that I can not influence. What I can influence is my relationship with my customers and my employees. So with Emotional Intelligence and NLP, I have learned to shift focus to where I can do something, where I can take action, ”says Charlotte.
“It is important to me that my employees can get to work and be safe. That they can be themselves. They need to know that in reality they can do nothing wrong. When we each learn to listen to each other and give each other space, wild things happen. When we present ourselves, things come of their own accord, and it lifts people, says Charlotte ”.
Presence and listening, according to Charlotte, are crucial in the sales situation, where B2C is slowly dying out in favor of a new concept in retail, H2H or human2human.
No troublesome customers - just people
- “Business does not have emotions, but people do. H2H requires a completely new and different human insight into people's emotions ", says Charlotte and continues:
- “The other day an elderly gentleman came into the shop who wanted to buy a piece of jewelery for his wife. He was a little tough and threatened us with lawyers and everything if we sold him a fake piece of jewelry, says Charlotte… In fact, he was afraid of being cheated. And when I saw that the customer was scared, I could make him feel safe and meet him there. And then the gas went off the balloon. He became comfortable in the situation and left the store happy. I'm sure he's coming again. There are no difficult customers… only nice people ”, says Charlotte with conviction in her voice.
Good customer service is no longer enough
- “My answer to the introductory question will therefore in conclusion be: no, general sales technology and customer service are no longer enough. We need to go even deeper. I think that NLP and Emotional Intelligence just contribute to how we get a sod deeper when we have to meet and understand people's wishes and needs when they come to the store ", Charlotte explains and continues:
- “Right now, in the online age, it is more important than ever to have full focus on strengthening retailers' relationships with their customers. It is H2H that makes the difference, the better we understand meeting our customers, the greater the difference between what we can and what online shopping can offer. In my world, everyone in retail should be trained in Emotional Intelligence. I experience that through Emotional Intelligence and NLP, I have gained an insight into and an understanding of people that create peace and joy for me and my employees, a stronger relationship with my customers and not least a healthy bottom line ", Charlotte concludes.