Recently, Petra Coach presented a webinar, “The Relationship Economy: Building Strong Customer Connections in the Digital Age” with John DiJulius.

If you’re a business leader, you need to see this.

You can find the full recording here.


To augment the recording, we noted takeaways and tips from the presentation. You can also download the slides used today HERE, or click HERE to sign up to receive for John’s newsletter.


By Kristin McLane – The Vivid Ink Company


Top Takeaways

Digital intelligence means we need younger leaders – however, their emotional intelligence isn’t as high. Our social skills have decayed because we’re all using screens

Make price irrelevant – make the value that you give your customers so high it doesn’t matter what the price is. Based on the experiences your brand consistently delivers, your customers should have no idea what your competition charges. You don’t need to raise your prices – you need to bring value and better service.

3 Strategies to Dominate the Relationship Economy

  1. Use technology to allow employees to focus on what’s most important – build relationships that result in higher customer loyalty
  2. Build a culture that creates emotional connections with your employees
  3. Create relationship building training for new and existing employees

Things that CAN be Trained:

  • Must be authentic – Be genuine, don’t just get to the point, truly want to make a connection
  • Must have insatiable curiosity
  • Must have incredible empathy
  • Must be a great listener

The 1 Thing that CANNOT be Trained:

  • Must love people

A Partner They Cannot Live Without:

  • Love what you do and make it obvious
  • Your clients should never meet anyone smarter than you at what you do
  • Go ugly early – be transparent – if you have bad news, don’t hold it back
  • Be as committed to the success of your customer as they are
  • Know your clients’ top three goals for the year
  • Educate vs. Sell
  • Your customer should not be able to imagine a world without you business in it

Must Have Insatiable Curiosity

  • Dying to learn about others
  • Not only about subjects that interest them also unfamiliar subjects
  • Meet as strangers, leave as friends

When Having a Conversation, Do the Following:

  • Fight the urge to reply before you finish listening
  • Don’t be preoccupied by yourself – finish listening to what the other person has to say
  • Give them the gift of your attention


When talking with someone new, grab information from each of these areas to store for later use:

Family – married, kids, how old

Occupation – title what do you do, how long

Recreations – runner, yoga, sports

Dreams – dream vacation, charity, goals


Must Have Incredible Empathy

  • When we listen and think from the other person’s point of view, their message becomes much clearer
  • Be wary of empathy fatigue and reset yourself
  • When we understand the customer’s plight, the importance of every interaction becomes crystal clear

Why We Lack Empathy

  • Employees are not your customers
  • Employees are not looking at it from the customer’s perspective
  • You compare yourself to the rest of your industry
  • Employees become numb
  • Think about “A Day in The Life” of your customer

Must be a Great Listener

  • Fierce attention
  • If you ask a question and don’t ask 2-3 follow up, odds are you weren’t listening
  • 4:1 questions asked vs. answered
  • Don’t defend questions, explore new ones
  • Listening doesn’t mean be a sponge. Be a trampoline – bounce questions back, don’t just receive and say yes and uh-huh


Conversation Nevers & Always:


  • Multi-task – Video calls help with this because you can see the other person
  • Ask a question because you want to answer it
  • Finish the other person’s sentences
  • Steal their thunder
  • Share your accolades


  • Remove any distractions (i.e. technology)
  • Demonstrate that your full attentions is on the other person
  • Be an active listener
  • Ask probing questions
  • Clarifying questions
  • Show empathy and support
  • Show patience
  • Wait 2 seconds before responding
  • Be in learning mode


Act as if today is the day you will be remembered for how you treated others.



Q: Everyone is being a resource right now & my prospects have told me they are not reading emails for that reason – how do you stand out from the crowd?

Give them a call – be available – make sure you’re there for them in a non-soliciting way


Q: Understanding and addressing the fears of clients?

Over communicate and touch base with them, hear their fear and anxiety personally and professionally and relate to them – even when you don’t have updates, give them updates


Q: Our customers are hospitals – do you ever break your price match rule for these types of situations with COVID?

If someone is putting you off right now because of sales, offer them a deferment of payment or a pay schedule – make sure this is a trusted client though


Q: With a younger workforce – will they concur or care about developing emotional connections? Younger people may prefer connecting via chat.

The younger workforce does care about it. Think about the Ritz Carlton or Chick-fil-A – they have younger employees that do care about people and developing that emotional connection


Q: What tools and conversations do you recommend for all team levels to buy?

Training is super important


Q: What is your favorite resource to deliver high quality service?