When a customer walks into your office or store, you want to make sure they feel welcome, you want to treat your customer as though they are a piece of gold, and not as a statistic. Have you ever been standing in a line, and when it comes to your turn to be waited on, the sales associate yells out next? Just thinking about that scenario makes me cringe. It is hardly a way to build a relationship with your customer.
I have been working in sales for more than eighteen years, and I have literally had customers tell me that the most important thing to them is to be appreciated and not treated as a statistic. Keep this in mind the next time you wait on a customer, instead of yelling next, you can politely say, may I help you, Ms. Jones. We all have our daily, weekly, and monthly goals that we must meet. And with this pressure applied to our daily workday, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is the customer who is the most important thing when it comes to our company's existence. They are the backbone. Without customers, we cease to exist.
Here are a few tips to ensure that your customer is appreciated by you and your company, and not viewed as just another number in line.
- Address Your Customer by Name. When addressing your customer, make sure you call them by name, this will put your relationship with your customer on a personal level, and customers like to know that they are remembered. It gives them a feeling of importance with you and your company.
- Don't Hurry Them Out the Door. The last thing the customer wants is to be hurried out the door. Remember, you are running a business, where people are your greatest asset. You are not on an assembly line manufacturing cars, so don't treat your customer as though you are. When you are finished with your customers' transaction, ask if there is anything else you can do for them, or if they have any questions for you. You could even use this opportunity to ask if you could go over some of your companies products with them, which you feel could benefit them. The last thing you want to do is get them in and get them out.
- Discuss Non-Business Topics. There is more beneath the surface of your customers than just the business that they do with you. People love to talk about themselves, such as their family, their jobs, their pets, their hobbies, etc. So ask your customer about one of the topics mentioned above, I guarantee they will be delighted to tell you all about it. This is also a great way to get to know your customer and build a strong relationship with them. A strong business relationship is a great opportunity to obtain all of your customers' business as well as the business of all of their friends and relatives through referrals. So remember, don't treat your customer like a statistic, treat them as you would treat one of your friends. Now, this is a fine line, particularly in B2B sales. Ultimately it is a business relationship so don’t overstep your boundary.