By Brian Barfield
In the beginning your sale has unlimited potential. It also carries the potential to be a long-winded, drawn-out marathon. The final outcome is going to be based solely on whether you truly connected with your customer or not. From the moment your customer walks through your doors your actions set the course of the current sales process as well as the future sales process – if they choose to shop with you again.
By taking care of your customers’ individual needs you have the potential to turn every customer into a Simple Minded Customer. Once the bond of trust is established and the customer knows that you have their best interest in mind, sales become easy and almost effortless. This is the way to build your customer base and create an environment that makes selling fun.
Now you have a clear vision of what true and lasting success will look like. However, achieving such success takes a lot of hard work and effort. Every new customer who enters your door is walking into a world of unknown. Some may be guarded, wondering if they will be pounced on or cheated. Others may appear confident, while fear and insecurity are bringing out the worst in them. The bottom line is that the Modern Day Customer has been trained by negative experiences not trust you.
The first priority in assisting your customer is to overcome their fear and establish a connection to open the lines of communication. You do this by offering a service that benefits the customer. Offer a free jewelry cleaning and inspection while they browse. This allows them the necessary time to adjust to the store and begin to relax. If they refuse, offer them a beverage while they shop. These simple things assure the customer that you are there to serve them and it sets the tone for the sales process.
The old-school training would go something like this: “Michelle, I am going to clean her jewelry. While I’m doing that you go see if you can sell her.” Today’s customer is no longer naïve or stupid. They see right through that and you are worse off than you were to begin with. 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 to offer service is finding a customer’s need and addressing that need. The watch they are wearing might be too big on them. Offering to take a few links out for free while they shop goes a long way. If it is someone shopping for an anniversary, go the extra mile and buff their band while they shop. This would be a need they did not even know existed. It could be a simple prong that is bent or a ring shank out-of-round. The list could go on and on. People are amazed at how many little things you can find to serve your customer. All you have to do is stop and think.
Another way to establish a connection with your customer is to make them laugh or smile. When a person walks in, be sure to introduce yourself. Tell them something like “I am here to make this process as painless as possible for you.” It is little things like this that relax your customer and begins to establish a bond of trust. 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.
When your customer enters your store do they 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? Unfortunately, in today’s world many of us are weary and run down by the demands of business life. We are lacking the proper passion and energy to impact our customers’ lives in a meaningful way. The benefit of using passion and energy when connecting with your customer for the first time will turn that around.