Customer Service

Three ways to Build Your Relationships, One Customer at a Time

Wellness Center

Wellness Center

The world has changed more than we know. I went to my favorite supermarket and saw this sign in front. More businesses are wearing “new hats” so they can compete. Hannaford also has a wellness center that is part of CHPHP and the YMCA in East Greenbush. I still think that’s a slam dunk. I met someone involved in this association, and she said this brings exercise and wellness to people who might not be able to afford the gym. It’s free, and the programs can compete with any of the gyms in town.  They’re trying to build relationships with their customers.

It’s time to think creatively. Many of you are holding events in your stores to bring in customers. Your business should be considered your home and having an event says, “Welcome. “I hear people saying but we didn’t do any business, and we didn’t have many people show up. This is not about doing business, but it’s about building relationships. If you didn’t get many people that you don’t know how to throw a party. If you want people to come you’ve got to tell them why they should come, tell them again, and then go pick them up! I know you’re saying it’s too much work, but building relationships is work. It means showing an interest in someone else and putting your own agenda on the “back burner” as they say.

I remember when we had an event in our store for contractors. Our biggest contractor said he didn’t want to drive the 40 miles to come to the party—I didn’t blame him. I said a car just left and would be there to pick him up at six! He said he was so embarrassed, but he showed up.

Sometimes it just means paying attention. Today in Pilate’s class a woman came up to me to talk about the class. She was very out of shape and said she wanted to talk with me about a weight-loss program I had mentioned. I knew the class would be hard for her, but I suggested her not worry and do what she could. I told the instructor about her who was kind enough to give her a little extra attention without embarrassing her. She felt special and signed up for the weight-loss program after class. I was so glad I took the time to talk with her; I knew she was serious.

  • Show that you care about others. Instead of waiting for people to talk with you, reach out. What do you have to lose?
  • Be genuinely helpful to others. That doesn’t mean doing it for them, it means noticing when someone needs you.
  • Just listen to someone. Sometimes just listening, without providing a solution can be very comforting.

 

Summer is around the corner; what’s next?

 

Lisbeth had been helping businesses build relationships with their customers for the last 20 years. Need some new ideas?

Lisbeth can be contacted at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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Nike Offers Personal Training in Store

Run, Train, Live

Run, Train, Live

I just read this article and thought I should share it with you. Why has it taken  so long for Nike, or anyone else, to add this concept. “It’s called, try it and buy it.” Notice the new slogan: Run, Train, Live.

I know everyone thought JC Penney was crazy when the offered Yoga in their stores but the concept was solid. It was the execution that was a little off base. This article is from Chain Store Age and thought it was worth the space on my blog.

New YorkFitness buffs can shop and also get in a workout at Nike’s new women’s store at Fashion Island, in Newport Beach, California. The 6,000-sq-ft. plus space combines the best of the company’s women’s products with an in-store fitness studio. The glass- and wood-paneled studio, the first for Nike in a U.S. retail location, features free group or personal fitness training sessions. It also enable customers to try out training and running footwear and apparel. The store offers an array of specialized services, weekly programming and special events. In-store services include run analysis, bra fitting, footwear trials and pant hemming. Programming includes the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and yoga classes. “Our women’s business has never been stronger and this new store is the ultimate expression of our commitment to women who run, train and live the look of sport and fitness throughout their day,” stated Amy Montagne, VP, general manager of Nike Women. I suggest that businesses hold monthly events for their customers but few rarely do. What better way then to show your customer you care then sharing something special with them? Nike is building communities with their customers.

February Heart Month

February Heart Month

February is Heart Month which offers so many ways to engage your customers. It’s about building a competitive advantage PAST your products. It takes more than products to build a competitive advantage. Products are everywhere; the  key is to present your products in an atmosphere that makes them interesting. This is what Nike is doing. Here are three  ideas:

  1. Ask yourself, how many times in my customer’s lifetime will they need my products? If you’re selling homes, it may be very few. Maybe that’s the reason why realtors forget who you are after the sale. If you’re good at what you do, why wouldn’t your customer refer you to someone else? 90% of your business is now referrals; it’s up from 80% two years ago!
  2. Talk with your customers,  what charities do they support and ask if you can help with a fund raiser. This is a great opportunity to bring in other vendors and access their data bases. If your vendors can bring in new customers to see your business, you’ve won the game. Raising money for a charity will also help you be remembered.
  3. This is the age of transparency: don’t worry about how silly or ridiculous your event is. Who knows it might turn into a reality show!
  4. If you need information on how to run and event; let me know and I’ll send you a copy of my book, “50 Events you can Hold to Bring in More Customers.”

I  would  love you to tell me about your event. Lisbeth Calandrino has been a Coach-sultant for the past 20 years helping businesses engage their employees and building strategies to impact their bottom line. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park in Albany, New York with her cat Rainyday. When not training, she can be found at the gym. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.   

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6 Ways to Insult An Old Customer

Old people driving.

Old people driving.

We find old people annoying because they walk slow, talk slow and spend time counting out the exact change for you.  Old people know they’re old and don’t need or want to be reminded. I notice that clerks look annoyed when the older person takes more time to get out their credit card or are looking for their glasses.

Age is just a number; it only becomes more when you choose to make it so or someone reminds you of it.

The other day I was in the gas station and heard the clerk tell the owner that the elderly lady from down the street said she thinks you undercharged her for the oil change. He’s my age; does she call him old too?

Why are we reluctant to deal with the process of aging? You can either get old or drop dead, which to you prefer? If it scares you learn more about it.

The Tibetans have a saying, “to get over your fears, bring closer to you that which frightens you the most.”

Here are my top 10 things that really make me hate you. Feel free to add a few of your own.

  1. Call me “dearie “when the hot chick next to me gets lots of smiles and jokes.
  2. Ask me if you can help me carry the quart of milk to my car. Do I look that frail?
  3. Do you need to sit down? I just walked in and now I need a chair. You don’t mind if the girly girl walks around because she has nice legs.
  4. “Take your time with it.” Can I first open my purse?
  5. If I say, “Prices seem high,” it’s not necessary for you to say, “Compared to what they were in your day I’m sure they are.”
  6. “You look tired.” Don’t ever say this to anyone unless you want a swat.
  7. “Shall I give these to your son to carry?” Could that “son” be my boyfriend? You probably don’t know about the famous artist, Georgia O’Keeffe and her companion who was 48 years her junior.
  8. Tell the customer after looking at her license, “I just saw your birth date; I can’t believe you’re that old! Or, you really look good for your age.
  9. Ask me for my license to prove I’m 21 when I want a drink.
  10. Give me the “Yes and No Mam” treatment.
  11. Just because I need to get my glasses doesn’t mean you need to read it to me. Everyone I know wears glasses.

If you would like more ideas for insulting old companies, take a look at Stan Goldberg’s blog,http://stangoldbergwriter.com/about/top-10-insults-for-old-people/.

Give us a break, one day you might be old.

Lisbeth has been helping businesses be more profitable for over 20 years. To have a consultation with her or have her speak to your employees, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. To read her Success Blog on the Albany Times Union, go to,http://blog.timesunion.com/success/author/lisbethcalandrino/.

She lives in Albany, New York, in Historic Hudson Park with her cat, Rainyday. When not in her office she can be found at the gym.

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Retail Lessons I Learned From My Grandfather’s Farm

ApplesI learned my retail lessons from my grandfather. He told me the price customers would pay for the apples depended upon how they looked; the shiny ones would bring the most money; he was right.   I watched as customers picked through the apples, smelling and admiring the polished ones. It was at this point I realized how important merchandising was. Wow, less number one; pretty things sell.

It wasn’t long before I was busily shining up the more attractive apples. The ones with the worm holes went for the least; I told grandpa we were losing money. Grandpa smiled and said it was good I was paying attention and it was important to price the shiny ones so they covered the price of  “less desirable “ apples.

This was lesson number two: make sure you understand how to price your merchandise.

How do customers determine the price they will pay?

Yesterday I was speaking with a flooring manufacturer about his products. He spent at least 15 minutes telling me how his products were made and what they were made of. Frankly I zoned out after about 5 minutes and stopped listening. The only thing that’s interested me was whether the product would look right in my kitchen. Unfortunately he never asked me what I call “the customer’s conditions of satisfaction.”

Customers will only pay your price if the product works for them; no matter what you’re selling. Once you know what they want it’s your job to help them justify why it’s a good investment.

Want to know what customers will pay for? Ask them and they will tell you. If possible talk with customers who have defected from your business. These are customers that were  only yours but have disappeared. They will have a wealth of information for you.  Once you know what they want, you can tell them what makes your products better.

Find out what why your customers have changed suppliers. When was the last time you talked with customers who no longer buy from you? They will tell you why they’ve moved on and why they like your competitors better. The big mistake is to think you “know” why. Typically, the answer will be the competitor’s price was lower. Unless you have a third party interview your lost customer, this is what you will hear. It’s just easier for the customer to tell you your price was higher.

Shop your competitors, buy from them and experience their service. There’s nothing more eye opening than becoming your competitor’s customer. I had a “big box” store measure my house for flooring; the installer came with his IPad and within 5 minutes showed me the layout and what it would cost. I called the local retailer and he was drawing my kitchen on the back of a napkin! We did that in the 70’s and it wasn’t acceptable then!

Installing products should be a “custom art.” “Custom anything” always demands more money; it takes time and means that is being crafted for the customer. I come from the floor covering industry and very few. If it were my business, I would talk about “custom installation” and nicely correct the customer every time she mention the term “installation.”

Talk about what makes you different, can you offer “white glove service?” I recently bought furniture from California that took 4 months to get delivered. The company sent me photos of the “wrapped furniture” and told me what to expect upon delivery.

I was told to take a picture of the furniture when it arrived and after it was unpacked. They also suggested I purchase their “white glove service.” It meant two people would unload the furniture and unpack it for me. I had never heard of “white glove delivery service” but thought I should give it a try. When the truck arrived the delivery man was wearing white gloves but apologized for the dust on them but he was changing them to unload my furniture. I was astonished and the delivery man took it all very seriously.

The real key is the customer determines the value of your products. It’s up to you to build the value and test it with your customers. The more value, the more they will pay.

Increasing your bottom line depends on how your customers see you and your product. This is a good conversation to have with all of your employees. You can ask them, where they think customers’ see the value.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales/customer service training for over 20 years. She is happy to discuss your situation and how she might help your business. She can be reached at 518-495-5380 or Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com. She lives in Albany, New York

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The Wild West of Customer Service

trunkAlbert Einstein was the first to coin the phrase “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The Wild, Wild West of Customer Service

We have reached a time when there is a sales revolution afoot. For hundreds of years, salespeople were expected to “hawk” their products and convince customers to buy. This conjures up a picture of salespeople heading into town with their wagons and snake oil. Since that time, we’ve given them new names: sales consultants, sales associates or relationship partners. Whatever you call them, their main job has been to sell the customers. Salespeople that don’t sell, soon become history.

Separating the Herd

One of the interesting things that differentiates the good salespeople from the bad ones is their commitment to long-term continuous development. If you are not developing your skills, you are going backwards in your career. If you’re not keeping up with the trends, you will have trouble building rapport with prospective customers.

The Internet is insisting on good communication.

Cyberspace: The Final Customer Service Frontier

The Internet has changed the role of the salesperson. The consumer’s first stop in their shopping is the Internet. According to a study in 2013 by PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, 83 percent of U.S. consumers go online to research electronics, computers, books, music, movies and more before going to a brick-and-mortar store. If your business isn’t listed, don’t get too comfortable.

Ask yourself: “Do I go online?” and “Do my friends go online?” These days, everyone is going online to purchase something. Going online gives the customer valuable information and gives her a reason to sell herself on products. Most salespeople have had experience with their customers shopping online but aren’t comfortable in collaborating with the customer or seeing the customer as their equal.

According to Google, in their book “Why ZMOT Matters More Than Ever” they state the following: “Three years ago, we changed the marketing rule book. And by ‘we,’ I mean all consumers. Our shopping behavior — the journey each of us takes on our path to purchase — helped identify a new ‘Moment of Truth’ for marketers and brands. ZMOT, or the “Zero Moment of Truth,” describes a revolution in the way consumer’ s search for information online and makes  decisions about brands.

More customers are seeking solutions online.  Instead of the salespeople being the go-to people, the Internet has taken their place. If the internet is taking the place of the salespeople, what should they do? They need to understand the changes in their role and the changes in how they connect with their customers. The biggest problem for most salespeople is their lack of skill when it comes to using the Internet and social media tools. They’re used to having customers come to them instead of having to reach out to the customers. Business owners need to provide the tools for their salespeople.

Great salespeople understand the value of staying in touch with their customers through some type of communication. The Internet has given us many new venues to stay connected. Unfortunately, many businesses are not allowing their salespeople to spend time online with customers. They say it’s a “waste of time and money.” It’s actually quite the opposite: If your salespeople are still sitting waiting for customers to show up at your door, you’re wasting time, money and talent.

Old marketing venues are less effective and starting to diminish. Newspapers are struggling as are television and magazines. What does this mean? It means salespeople need to spend more time online getting to know customers and finding new ways to connect. The key is to decide how to use these connections.

To get started, look at the venues most used by your customers and develop a strategy with your salespeople to infiltrate these venues and make them work for you.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing business consulting for the past 20 years. To schedule a consultation or have her speak with your employees, call her at 518-495-5380 or email at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |November 24th, 2014|Blog, Blogging, Customer Experience, Customer Service|0 Comments

5 Ways To Get Your Salespeople Connected To Customers

connecting-with-customer-service-advisorI have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:

 “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.”

In other words, rapport is when we ‘get each other’. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. Building rapport is part of customer service and the customer experience.

In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong.

  1. Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory – a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way. The one I like the best comes from BEST Instruments. It is short but conveys lots of information.
  2. Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn.
  3. Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
  4. You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself you can make adjustments in your communication style.
  5. Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!

Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over.

To schedule Lisbeth to speak to your employees or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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How to Talk Crazy Customers “Off the Ledge” and Other Tactics

It is about them.

What to do when people are out of control.

The other day I was at Dunkin’ Donuts when a customer started yelling. The store was packed; he was a big man and pointing his finger at the clerk’s nose. His beef was he hadn’t gotten his toasted muffin or tuna fish sandwich. The manager was trying to explain that her oven wasn’t working, and she was sorry for the inconvenience.

The more she explained her side of the case, the worse it got. It didn’t matter what she said, he continued to berate her in front of the other customers. I thought about putting my hand on his arm in hopes it might calm him down. (I knew it wasn’t a good idea, so I didn’t do it.) I thought he might have a gun, and we would all be history. At this point, people were putting their heads down and leaving. I considered the same but realized there was a lot for me to learn. This was nothing about customer service; it was about a crazy and berating customer.

The clerk gave him his money back and explained she would give him the rest of the order for free. This wouldn’t satisfy him either. He slammed through the door and ran into the parking lot still yelling. His partner wasn’t impressed; she started screaming at him for not bringing the order; so much for a pleasant ride to the Catskills.

Was there anything else she could have done? She was upset, shaking but not on the verge of tears. It was obvious she was well trained but “not that well trained.”

  1. There’s a point where she should have shut up. The customer wasn’t listening, didn’t care and wasn’t logical.  He was very emotional. There’s no point trying to defend yourself.
  2. You can agree with the customer. So he believes you’re stupid for not having what he wants, and he believes he’s entitled. I don’t know what he would have said, but the rest of us would have enjoyed her approach and logic.
  3. It would have helped if she had raised her voice instead of retreating into her rather quiet approach. A loud “you’re right “might have helped. It’s called “talking the customer off the ledge.” Power it up, not with the same anger but with matching volume. Who knows what’s going on in his life?
  4. Don’t make the fire any hotter by explaining anything. A simple “sorry” is enough.
  5. Don’t take it personally. Sure this is tough to do, but it really has nothing to do with you. I watched an episode at the bank that was quite amazing. I didn’t hear the original conversation, but I did hear the teller say to  the customer if he said that again, she  would come around to the front and “pound him! “Okay she was fired but I had a feeling he might have been really out of line. Do you want more information on this subject? Check out this article, “10 Ways to Deal with Difficult Customers.”

Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses to build loyal customers for the last twenty years. To have her speak to your company or schedule a consultation, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or check out her web site, www.lisbethcalandrino.com.

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By |July 27th, 2014|Blog, Customer Service|0 Comments

Want to Improve Your Bottom Line? Hold Events in Your Store

Proven ideas to drive customers to your business.

I was speaking with a friend of mind that owns a culinary store. “It must have been a tough winter, with all the snow,” I said.

“It was a great winter she said. We started holding cooking classes, and we were swamped.”

I mention her success because holding events has   always been a winner. No matter what your retail store, thoughtful promotions will attract new customers and thank your old ones. Holding events also creates a “buzz” that will have your neighbors paying attention. It doesn’t have to cost much money. It just takes some thoughtful promotions; don’t be  afraid to go all out. The more people you can bring in the better. The purpose of an event is to get people into your store and get to know them. Since 85% of your business is probably referrals, you don’t want customers to forget you.

Anything you do that pleases the customer improves your customer service. The more interesting the customer experience the more the customer will remember you. Customers have so many places to hide online that reaching them  has never been more difficult.

Making people feel special is cheap. Don’t you love getting an invitation to an event even if you can’t attend? It means that someone is thinking about you.

We’re all looking for things to do that aren’t expensive.

Events don’t have to be related to your products. For many retailers not promoting their products seems to be frightening. They’re afraid if they don’t talk about their products, they will lose customers. Actually just having fun with your customers is a way to build relationships. Even though we know it’s a good way to build sales, retailers seem reluctant to hold them.

My advice, “Get over it.”

  1. You shouldn’t spend a lot of money. Having lots of balloons will create a party atmosphere and putting your event on your social media will get the word out. It’s not necessary to advertise in the local newspaper unless you have extra dough. These days social media can do it all for you.
  2. You don’t need a big space. Hold your event during your off season. During the holidays, their is lots of competition for your customer’s attention. With the summer coming, this is a perfect time to have a garden seminar in your parking lot. If you’re a risk taker, have a barbecue at your house. Several years ago, I had a fund-raiser at my house, and it was fun and people just loved coming to my home.
  3. Customer appreciation day always works. David Campbell, owner of Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Montana, holds a customer appreciation in October before the holidays. He also gives reduced prices at his events for Christmas shopping. (Click on the link for information on how to hold a customer appreciation day. )
  4. Have you held an Anniversary party? Why not celebrate your business and share it with your customers.
  5. How about a special “guest” appearance? Every town has local celebrities. Some even have worldwide celebrities. Maybe you can have them make a special appearance. If you can involve a local not-for-profit, you will have a better chance of getting a celebrity to  your business. I remember when we raised money for the special needs program  in our neighborhood; we didn’t have any problems getting Yankee great Phil Razzioto to make an appearance! It was so exciting.

Holding events is the way to bring in customer and build relationships. If you need ideas for events, check out my recently published book, “50 Events to drive Traffic to Your Store.” It will soon be on my website and on Amazon.

Are you attending “Coverings” this coming week? If so, stop into my seminar on “How to Use Events to Grow Your Business” on Friday May 2, 2014, at 9:30-11 A.M.

Lisbeth has been a retail consultant for over 20 years. She specializes in improving customer service and building sales strategies that drive traffic. To have her speak at your store, she can be reached at 518-495-538-.

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4 Ways to Go the “Extra Inch” to Make Your Customer Service Better–Take it from the Japanese Culture

 

High Five Bar in Japan.

As you can probably tell from last week’s post, The Devil is in the Details: Part 1, the overall Japanese customer service experience really made an impression on me. This week, I bring you another example of stellar customer service.

The Bar: A Manager Who Went the Extra Mile

In 2007, I took a job as a paint inspector in a local Japanese shipyard. As part of my inculcation to the company, we all went out to the bar after my first week of work. It was a small establishment, a quaint little set-up with dim lights, plush sofas, drunken karaoke, and beautiful bar-girls.

I ran out of cigarettes, so when I ordered my next drink, I asked the bartender – who turned out to be the owner – where the nearest cigarette machine was. He handed me my drink and took my money, but instead of handing me my change, immediately ran out the door.

Confused, I returned to my seat. A minute later, the man returned with the pack of cigarettes – opened, with one smoke already pulled half-way out – and politely handed the pack, as well as my change, to me. There’s a phrase for that – it’s called exceptional customer service!

Customer Service: Going the Extra Inch

You’ve heard the phrases before – you know, phrases like “going the extra mile” or “going above and beyond.” While those are nice clichés, and they certainly make a good point, customer service is even simpler than that. Going the extra inch is:

  • A smile
  • An open ear
  • A kind gesture
  • Common courtesy

Interestingly, I can’t begin to recount the number of times that I’ve walked into a gas station and asked for a pack of smokes, only to have the cashier all but throw the pack at me. I’m not asking for them to get down on one knee for me; I’m just asking for a little common courtesy (i.e. good customer service). Appreciation is a common customer service tool in Japan.

True, they may not be the owners of the company or the store. They may not even be management for the store, but the better impression they make, and the more satisfied the customers are, the better the company will do. In a sense, it’s in their best interest too. Their customer service skills indirectly affect their job security by inviting repeat customers.

I closing, the moral of these stories isn’t in any way to contrast Japanese business practices with American business practices directly; however, these stories do serve to illustrate how the small things can make a huge difference in a customer’s mind. Customer service in Japanese bars is based on hospitality, how can we service the customer?

Could I have walked fifteen feet down the alley to get my own cigarettes? I certainly could have. It would have taken literally no time or effort to do so, but that’s kind of the point. The owner knew that it wouldn’t take much time or effort. And with that simple, effortless gesture he made such a lasting impression that he instantly won me over as a customer. Seven years later and I’ll still gladly go back for a drink if I get the chance.

Created byWriter,  James Allen, james.r.allen2011@gmail.com.

Blog produced by Lisbeth Calandrino.

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By |March 15th, 2014|Customer Service|0 Comments

Are Your Salespeople Missing in Action?

Sales people must always be on alert for new customers.

The client’s journey begins long before they set foot in a retail store. They are talking with friends, researching products, and looking for testimonials, all before they determine which store to shop. What’s missing? The salesperson.

 

Most stores are  having their salespeople sit around and wait for the client to come into the store.  The customer is in command. This used to work but these days the customer is in control.

 

Why would you want your salesperson to sit around and wait when they can be influencing clients to come into the store? Why are they waiting for the customer to make the decision when they have the opportunity to influence their decision? Why not have them be proactive and go online connecting with the “potential customer?”

 

I know that many business owners are concerned about what their salespeople will say online. Will they insult the customer? Will they be unprofessional? What will be the outcome of their conversation? If this is your concern set some parameters.

But people still buy from people they like and trust. Technology has changed our lives, but it offers the opportunity to for the consumer and salesperson to build their relationship online. The salesperson had to wait until the consumer came into their store to get to know them.  Now they have tremendous opportunities to build important relationships.

If your salespeople could connect with potential customers before they even walk through the door, you would have an advantage over everyone else in the business.

Google (check out this video)  suggests to connect effectively, you must know who your customers are, where they are “hanging out”  and what you’re going to say to them when you find them .

Who knows your customers better than your salespeople?

So it just comes down to what they’ll say. This is a matter of training and policy. Ignoring the potential pitfalls of online communication doesn’t make them go away,it just provides another challenge. A challenge that can be easily managed.   Why not determine the parameters  and dynamics of your salespeople’s conversation? Train them in how to market themselves and the business. This way you can  humanize your marketing, and make your salespeople more attractive to new customers.

The internet is about building relationships; start building yours.

 

These days, a good salesperson has to be a good marketer – there are those of us who think marketing has replaced sales. They must also understand their customer and always be “customer service focused.” Connecting on line is “great” customer service.

 

Social media is not going away nor will customers decide to stop making the Internet their first stop in determining where to shop. The sooner you determine your online policies and how you’re going to have your salespeople connect, the quicker you will increase your customer base.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. She believes that technology is the key to doing business and salespeople need to be marking and connecting with customers before they come into your place of business. For training or a consultation on the “new selling,” Lisbeth can be reached at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.

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By |February 16th, 2014|Blog, Customer Service|0 Comments