Tallahassee, FL--In the beginning your sale has unlimited potential to be quick, easy and effortless. It also carries the potential to be long-winded and drawn-out. The final outcome will be based solely on whether you truly connected with your customer or not: from the moment your customer walks through the door, your actions set the course of both current and future sales—if they choose to shop with you again.
By reading The Four Basic Customer Types series, you’ll see how taking care of your customers’ individual needs you have the potential to turn every customer into a Simple Minded Customer—not in the traditional sense of simple-mindedness, but in the sense that they trust you and they don’t have to think twice about it.
Once the bond of trust is established and the customer knows that you have their best interest in mind, sales become easy, almost effortless. This is the way to build your customer base and create an environment that makes selling fun.
But what about the customer shopping at your store for the very first time? Every new customer is walking through your door into a world of unknown. Some may be wondering if they will be pounced on or cheated. Others may appear confident but fear and insecurity bring out the worst in them. Unfortunately, negative experiences have trained modern customers not to trust you.
The first priority is to overcome their fear and establish a connection. Offer a service that benefits the customer: a free jewelry cleaning and inspection while they browse or a beverage while they shop. These simple things set the tone for the sales process.
But old school training would have one salesperson cleaning jewelry while another tried to sell the customer. Today’s customer is not naïve: they see right through that. I like my customers to see me working for them with no pressure or gimmicks. This creates a beautiful word called “obligation”. The customer feels obligated to shop with you even if they are not purchasing that day.
Other ways I offer service is finding a customer’s need and addressing it: look at their watch: is it too loose? Offering to take a few links out for free while they shop goes a long way. If they’re shopping for an anniversary, I buff their band while they shop. This would be a need they did not even know existed. It could be a simple bent prong or ring shank out of round that you can fix. It’s amazing many little things you can find to serve your customer; all you have to do is stop and think. Owners and managers, I suggest you do this little exercise with your staff.
Another way to establish a connection with your customer is to make them laugh or smile. When a couple walks in together and I introduce myself I always follow it up with the following line: “I am here to make this process as painless as possible for you.”
Instant smile every time! It is little things like this that relax your customer and begins to establish a bond of trust. Sometimes I actually tell the customer, “You’re the boss. I work for you.” As you can see, the common theme is letting the customer know that you are there to serve them. If you learn to do these little things well that “Just Looking Customer” will open up to you like never before.
Many years ago we created a concept called “the sales tactic” which was intended to be good. Over time the customer decided they no longer want to be treated like that, leading to an adversarial relationship of sales associate vs. customer.
Use passion and energy when connecting with your customer for the first time. Do customers hear the excitement in your voice? Do they feel the energy and enthusiasm that you give in your hustle to work for them? Can they see the desire that you possess within to take care of them?
Many of us are weary and run down by the demands of business life. To help combat burnout, read my article about maintaining your passion and energy here.