By: Stephen Novak
Consider the following situations:
A child is eating watermelon in the blistering dog day’s heat – The smile reverberates the true joy that only a simple summer treat can provide.
A man’s feet stammer in the aisle of a church at the beginning of the best decision he will ever make – His prospective spouse’s soul sings as she steers toward the aisle.
Now contrast with the following:
A single mom is leaving work; she notices her tire is low. She’s knows that she’ll be late picking up her child from daycare (They penalize by the minute if you’re late) as she limps towards her favorite car repair shop. She’s relieved that the shop doors are just now coming down, someone is still there, she thinks. The person behind the glass doors waves their hands and yells, “We’re closed”, and steals away into the back room.
Now the reason for the rant:
I went into a convenience store a few days ago. After checking out, the clerk stuffed my purchases into the bag and said, “Thanks, young man”. During my sales training courses, I’ve heard similar statements from inexperienced salespeople for years. When confronted they usually say that they’ve been told to always compliment the customer…to make them feel good. And while that statement is true, they forgot the most important part of a compliment – IT MUST BE SINCERE. Today’s customers are a lot savvier than they have ever been – They can spot a sales pitch a mile away. After being assaulted by such a line, most customers will just smile back while thinking to themselves, what a schmuck.
For anyone that works with people, commit to this: if you give anyone a compliment, IT MUST BE SINCERE. People know how old they are, if they’ve lost weight, or if they’ve been working out. Trite or dishonest statements will shore up any preconceived barriers that the customer may have. Always remember: it’s our job to break down ANY barriers that get in the way of building strong relationships with our customers.
As for being there for your customers…we’ll cover that later.
Copyright © Stephen Novak 2011 Rising Moon Publications. All rights reserved.