One of the most important skills a doctor can possess, is that of a bed side manner. In the same sense, it is important that sales people or business owner’s possess the same type of skill, to be able to put their customer at ease.
Relaxing your customer is important to any type of sales situation you may find yourself in. Remember, think of the customer as a guest in your house, you are the host, so you want to make them as comfortable as possible in your house. The more comfortable they are in your house, the easier it will be for them to talk to you. In sales, trying to persuade someone we have never met before to buy our product can be very challenging.
It can be challenging for a number of reasons, mainly the fear that consumers associate with sales people. The fear that we are all alike, comparing us to the unfair stereotype of the used car salesman. They are afraid of being convinced to buy something they don’t need at a price they can’t afford.
You need to find a common denominator with your customer, something you can both relate to, and something non-business. A non-business conversation is a great way to break the ice with your customer. We all want to make a sale, but since when is it a crime to get to know your customer?
This is easier than you may think, people love to talk, especially about themselves. So ask questions. Ask about their pets, their families, their work, and their hobbies. When I was in retail, I managed a branch inside of a supermarket. Our daily goals consisted of going out into the aisles, approaching customers, and trying to convince them to buy our products.
We applied certain techniques to this type of sales that worked rather well.
For instance, the pet food aisle was a good place to talk to people, because people loved to talk about their pets. A simple question such as; “What kind of dog do you have?” would get them talking with the greatest of ease.
The junk food aisle was also a good place to talk to people. For some reason the presence of candy and junk food put people in a good mood, and they were more prone to talk with a stranger.
One place we stayed away from, was the frozen food section, because people didn’t want to talk where it was cold. Understandable.
My point is, people love to talk as long as they can relate to the subject manner, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, and get to know your customer beyond that of the products they need.
The more relaxed you can make your customer in your setting, the better off the two of you will be, and the more sales you will walk away with.
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