building relationships with customers is key. But how can you bring that all-important personal touch to every transaction and really make your business stand out?
These best practices will help you nurture personal connections with customers and build brand loyalty.
Ask First, Sell Later
Before you jump right into a standard sales pitch, take the time to ask your customers a few questions. More importantly, really listen to their answers. A bit of gentle probing will help your client articulate exactly what it is they need. That, in turn, will allow you to clearly explain exactly how your products or services will solve their problems.
This way, you're not simply pushing something that they may or may not really need or want. Instead, you're taking their unique situation into account and providing a personalized, customized solution. At the same time, you're building rapport by creating a personal interaction that's so important.
Again, really listening is key, and really caring is best. While your customer is speaking, stop what you're doing, take a breath, and simply listen. Don't attempt to think ahead and formulate answers before they're finished talking. Remain in the moment, and place your full attention on them. They'll notice the difference!
Quid Pro Quo
Keep on building that relationship by offering some personal information about yourself, too. Don't worry. You don't have to give out your Social Security number or your home address. In fact, avoid TMI at all costs. Sharing just a bit will humanize you to your customer. Talking about where you where born, a common hobby, a sports team, or even a recent movie you watched or book you read can make a real impact.
Scientific studies support this strategy. A 2009 study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that customers were more likely to buy -- and to be happy about their purchase -- when a salesperson shared personal info like a birthday or a birthplace.
But don't fake it; the study also found that creating similarities where none really exist simply to make a connection tended to backfire, especially if the customer found out later that the salesperson wasn't being forthcoming.
That Personal Touch
Sending a handwritten note or postcard is a great way to ensure that your business stands out. Handwritten communication proves beyond a doubt that you've taken the time to sit down and make an effort, which makes your customer feel valued. Try to include personalized content in each note to really make an impact.
These simple steps will help you build that human connection that's so key to driving sales and customer loyalty.
All the best,
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution