You’ve just joined a company as a sales representative; however you don’t know how to talk to customers. What do you say when they have a question about products that you don’t stock? What do you say? The boss is nowhere to be seen and you’re the only employee around. Wondering what to do? This article should help with that.
The first thing you do is try to connect with your customer. The easiest way to do this is to listen to what the customer is saying. Try to find similar fields of interest that align with theirs and talk about that. It’s egotism at its basest form. People love to talk about themselves, and about things that interest them. Connect with your customer this way and half your battle is done! However, connecting won’t just get the job done. What you will need to do is control the situation. If there’s a problem to be addressed, address the said problem, but don’t dwell on it. Refocus the conversation towards the direction that you need it to go in. And then, once it has been refocused, you can concentrate on solving the customer’s problem quickly and efficiently.
Honesty and Clarity
Once you have made a connection and are interacting with a customer on a daily basis, you are going to need a way to connect with them further, in order to develop a stronger relationship. The first way to connect is with clarity and empathy. If a customer wants something, and is explaining it in great detail, try to paraphrase what they’re saying back to them, as a way of showing that you understand them. If something is upsetting them, take an interest in what it is, and try to fix it. However, we all have bad days, and we all make mistakes. If you happen to make a mistake, don’t try to cover it up in front of them. Apologise for the mistake and explain how you’re fixing it. People appreciate honesty, and if you do this, the customer will be inclined to trust you a lot more.
Politeness and humility
It doesn’t cost anything to be polite. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to be a prim and proper English gentleman; however it does mean you have to watch your tongue around your customers. At all costs, mind your language and don’t swear -which is a given-. However, also try to avoid using slang words and phrases. It doesn’t give a good impression to the word “like” every three words or so, and don’t use words such as “wanna”, “um”, “kinda” and so on. Using proper words gives the impression of a wider knowledge base. However, you can’t be expected to know everything, so don’t try to fake it. There’s no problem in saying “I don’t know” occasionally, if you’re clueless about something. Customers can see through a rubbish story and they definitely can see through facades, so don’t make any. Be open, honest and they will appreciate you for it.
The Final Word
If you follow these basic points, and remember that your customer’s happiness is paramount, then you should be able to deal with even the toughest of customers and they should warm up to you. Good customer service involves developing bonds with customers, hopefully leading to long-term relationships. Just remember that in order to keep a customer, you have to connect with him or her, let them know that they can trust you, be polite and respectful, and always be clear in what you’re saying, and what you understand they’re saying. Do this and you will be set for life.