One Size Doesn’t Fit All in Sales
Although customers purchase essentially the same products or services from a particular business, these customers all have different personalities and want to be made to feel unique, valued and appreciated. As such, the talented salesperson is a chameleon of sorts, able to adapt their approach to the personality of their client or prospect.
Some customers might want to discuss the product or service in addition to their daughter’s graduation party and how well their Aunt Ida’s strawberries are coming in this year. Other customers might strictly be interested in their purchase, inquiry, or problem and, basically, want the transaction completed as soon as possible with as little interaction as possible with a salesperson (move this person to an e-commerce channel ASAP!). Still others seemingly want to chit chat all day, only circling around to the business at hand, often abruptly, at the very end of the conversation (do NOT shift them to en e-commerce channel if you want to keep them as a customer!).
So, what if you’re not a natural salesperson and the idea of changing your interpersonal behaviors generates a rumbling feeling of loathing in your soul? To you I say, congratulations on knowing who you are, but if you want to put food on your table and a roof over your head, realize your business is not about you, it’s about your customer. If you’re the business owner, you must develop the best customer-business relationship possible if you hope to grow your business to the point of being able to hire an outside salesperson.
Record and listen to phone conversations between employees and customers to generate ideas on how to improve the communication and service processes. Listen to your own conversations and pay attention to the conversational dynamics. Partner new employees with more experienced employees to achieve the same goal.
Getting to know a particular customer does not necessarily mean that the customer will always react the same way with every employee. Everyone’s personality shifts day to day, and even though an employee might have dealt with a particular customer one way in the past does not necessarily mean that the customer’s personality will be the same during the next interaction. Someone that’s normally talkative might only want the “facts” if they’re in a rush and the ‘strictly business customer’ might be ready for more interaction than normal.
As with almost anything, practice makes perfect. Businesses spend time and money training employees on policies, procedures, new product or service updates, and a variety of other types of training. Frequently, one of the most important types of training – interacting successfully with customers – is forgotten.
In your own experience, how often do you call a business and truly feel appreciated, valued and unique? Have you ever?
Role-playing with customer personalities is important for a business’ success and growth. A business can have the best product or service but will still fall flat if they don’t recognize the importance of adapting to personality types.. Role-playing and practice in a group setting can help alleviate this problem and establish the foundation for improved customer relationships for employees who are not naturally good at reading and adjusting communication styles.
Work Those Personalities
In a competitive business environment, almost anything that can be done to get an edge on the competition is worth the effort. When employees relate to customers and customers, in turn, relate to a business and its employees, the satisfaction level rises dramatically, increasing the chances of repeat business- it’s much more cost effective than attracting new customers!