Taking the time to take care of your customers can sometimes mean more than providing the exact service in your job description. Going the extra mile to understand your customers can pave the way for a better relationship and open the door for a bigger sale or an easier sales call.
We’ve all had those days when it feels like everything goes wrong no matter what we do. In Elmore’s example, he has trouble at the airport, his plane is delayed, he has to find a different flight and he feels frustrated that nothing is panning out the way it’s supposed to. Plus, he can’t find a decent cup of coffee to straighten out his day.
The first person who took the time to actually ask him what was wrong was able to make him feel heard – and get him a cup of coffee! That simple act turned his entire day around, and it took very little effort on the part of the flight attendant who helped him out.
When you encounter a particularly obstinate, rude or frustrating customer, don’t jump straight to conclusions. You never know what kind of a day they have had or what they may be dealing with outside of your interaction with them. The key is remembering that everyone has bad days. Take the time to be interested and try to help. It could change the entire visit around!
When someone does pay attention to your needs and turns your day around, you naturally feel warmer towards them. In Elmore’s example, after the flight attendant helped him out he says he would have done just about anything she asked him to. The door was opened to a relationship because Elmore felt thankful for her efforts and trusted her.
The same thing applies to your customers. Building that goodwill upfront can pay you back when you are trying to explain the best course of action for your customers or show them how a purchase could help them out. It just takes a simple act of kindness.
What are some other ways you can go about building the relationships that can benefit you so much? Elmore and Loudermilk have noticed that the key time to introduce small talk and build trust is between politely introducing yourself and starting the conversation about the technical problem.
Two great segues to use are animals and kids. Most people are open and happy to talk about their pets – especially if the furry friends approach you for attention. Pets and kids are relatable topics you can use to find some common ground that links you together. Even something as simple as sharing that you also have dogs or cats or children can be enough to start the relationship.
Another great tactic is to be aware of the signs and stickers the customer uses on their car or around their home to proclaim what their passions are. Whether it’s school names, sports team names, religions or movie references, these can help you find a conversation starter.
Don’t assume that doing a great technical job is the only thing you need to have success on the job. Be ready to think on the spot and notice the things that are important to your customer. Make connections, and if you aren’t familiar with the things they like, ask them for more information! Learn why they are so passionate about these things, and make them interested in telling you about it.
Avoid engaging in controversial subjects at all costs. This includes politics, economic status or any subject that might have starkly opposing sides. Learn how to bring the conversation back to safe topics that can’t lead you to offend someone or make a negative impact on your relationship building.
There’s no one way to always get a yes from your customers. That’s why combining multiple sales and customer methods gives you your best shot at high rates of success. If you’re interested in learning more proven methods for sales success, check out the other resources Service Excellence offers!
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