People buy from people they like. That seems obvious, doesn’t it? When people have a choice of where to take their business (as they usually do) they will choose to spend their money with the company or person that makes them feel good.
When customers like you, they are not only more likely to buy from you—they are also more likely to recommend you to friends and associates. Use the following ideas to increase your likeability quotient.
Look like your customers. This can be as simple as dressing in a style similar to your customers. When it is not appropriate to dress like your customers, dress in a style that makes them comfortable. A massage therapist who wears a white lab coat or similar uniform enhances her image as a professional and reminds clients that they are in capable hands.
Listen to customers. People like to talk about themselves, and they feel good when they know someone is truly listening. Show that you are listening by asking appropriate questions and responding to what customers say.
Make connections. Showing a genuine interest in your customers’ lives can help you find areas of common ground. Do you share a hobby or interest? Look for clues to areas where you may have something in common.
Validate customers. Comment approvingly about the customer’s selection. Acknowledge their expertise. Express respect for their opinions, concerns and objections. Make them feel important.
Compliment customers. A genuine compliment will go a long way toward building rapport. Even if customers know that you are going out of your way to compliment them, or they do not believe the compliment, the compliment will still give them positive feelings about you.
Be nice to their children. Consider your customers’ children to be extensions of them. How you treat their children will affect how they feel about you. Talk to the children, laugh at their jokes and be friendly. Have games or other activities available to entertain children while their parents meet with you.
Be nice to their pets. Does it make you feel good when the teller at the bank drive-through offers a treat to your dog? Sure! Pets are members of the family, too.
Make the buying experience pleasant. Events work because they create a sense of fun and excitement. Although you may not be able to make every day an event, you can make it relaxed and enjoyable. Have a comfortable area for shopping or waiting. Offer coffee and soft drinks when customers have to wait. Have current magazines in the waiting area. Play music.
Say thank you. It is simple, but many skip this step. Say thank you at the time of purchase. Follow up with a handwritten note. Say thank you before the sale. Thank a customer for viewing a demonstration. And do not forget to thank anyone who refers new business to you.
Making an effort to make customers feel relaxed and happy will pay off in increased sales and referrals. And it will make you feel good, too.