Over the last 17 years I’ve been a wonderful sales person, but always had a motto:
“I’m a terrible sales-person, but a wonderful service-person”.
When people know that you want to authentically help them, and not just make a sale this does a couple of things:
- You have established a great trust relationship
- This customer will likely become a repeat customer, knowing that you will always serve their best interest first
- They will tell their friends and family about you
- Listen to their needs
Building Trust is truly a great asset and an essential part of any sales relationship. I remember once when I was direct selling that I had a customer who really couldn’t afford some of the products I was selling. In fact, she made a huge order, and since I knew her personally I knew that she couldn’t afford this $300 order. So….I gently said to her, you know if you host a party you can get many of these things for free and several for half price and the hostess tonite will benefit by your booking. It was real and authentic, it saved her hundreds and gave the hostess the booking she needed. I remember after that show that what I did made an impression on the other guests because frequently at other shows I would hear comments like “don’t worry, she isn’t a pushy sales lady” and “she won’t push you to spend outside your budget….I saw her do this”. Wow, that kind of trust enabled me to win over even the most hardened customer. I encourage you to build your trust with people and really serve their needs, not your immediate sale.
Creating Repeat Customers once you have created trust just goes hand in hand. I know that by creating trust in my friend by telling her to save her money that day and not spend $300 dollars that she didn’t have went a long way. In fact, over ten years later she will often come to me for words of advice if she feels she can’t trust someone over a particular sale (haha she had me come and test drive cars with her to look for an honest car salesperson).
Yup, they tell their Friends and Family I cannot tell you how many times I’ve worked in a business (candles, jewellry, even furniture) where a complete stranger has come up to me and said, I came to you because my brother, sister or mom recommended you. I heard you were good and I only want to deal with you. This has to be the greatest compliment as a sales person. Personal recommendations I treat with the highest esteem and I will work even harder to make sure this person receives the best I can offer them. The best SERVICE that they deserve.
I heard once this saying: God gave you two ears, and one mouth…use them well! This is certainly true as a good service person. I find that many ‘sales people’ definitely have the gift of the gab…and use that often, but to truly be a great service person you need to know when to close the ‘pie hole’ and use those two ears. By providing truly great service you need to ‘listen closely to your customers needs’. If you have a customer who wants to purchase a saphhire necklace for example, but your agenda is to sell them a more expensive diamond ring, you are not doing them any favors. You are only looking out for your commission and not fulfilling their needs. Don’t do it….provide them what they want. I remember actually telling a customer who was indeed looking for some sapphire earrings that we didn’t carry what they wanted but I was looking at the competition’s store in the mall and they may have what they were looking for. Well…you can bet that I heard it from my manager, but I was adamant that I did the right thing, we didn’t have exactly what the couple was looking for, so I steered them where they would find it. A few days later the fella came back to our store and thanked me, and yes, they did indeed find what they wanted. He then told me he was looking to purchase for his wife a custom made to order ring for their anniversary and wanted me ‘personally’ to over the making of it. So what would have been a $180 purchase, turned into a $12,000 ring. Did I make the right choice by serving them properly in the beginning? Yeah, I think so!
I hope these tips have helped and inspired you to think about really serving your customer first. That sometimes it’s not always about the immediate sale, but helping your customer find exactly what they are looking for! Have fun and make it a great day.