Working with retailers, small and large, is often challenging. Working with any business is often a challenge. Especially when they have issues with customer attraction and retention. Customer connection is an ongoing challenge. There are a lot of experts out there teaching businesses methods of persuasion on how to influence the customer and most of these will provide techniques of value, but for me, its starts simply. Customer connection starts simply. It starts with you. It starts with a conversation.
You can walk into any business, and see a level of inexperience and immaturity. You can walk into a retail store and see a whole range of energy levels from bored to over-zealous. You experience a range of skills and knowledge in delivery of the service offer. And importantly you will see a lack of connection with customers and sometimes almost a fear to engage. Let’s have a look at how you can help build customer loyalty by connecting.
Connection Starts with Conversation
It makes sense doesn’t it? You cannot connect with a customer if you don’t talk to them. Yet often a business owner doesn’t make best use of the conversations relevant for their business. They may feel insecure at network events, relunctant to make phone calls, fearful of starting the conversation. Maybe we don’t feel worthy, maybe we see ourselves above it
So many things stop us from starting the conversation and they stop your team from conversing. When we can’t converse, we cannot connect. So how do we rise above our challenges and get the conversation started.
Start the Conversation Already
- Understand what is important. When you know what’s important in your business, you are compelled to start the conversation. When your team know what’s important, they have a compelling reason to do so.
- Know that you are important. When you place value on yourself and what you bring, the conversation becomes easiler. You have value, share that value. When your team know how important they are to your business, they know to deliver.
- Look for clues. Conversations are tough cold, except when it’s really cold and you can talk about the weather, I guess. In a retail store you could start a conversation around so many things eg the bags they are carrying, the children they are with, the product they are holding or looking at. In a network, it’s tougher, but importantly look for the clues.
- Be curious and ask questions. People will always enjoy someone who is interested in them. Often when they leave you, they feel like they have been in a great conversation.
- Find common ground. During the conversation, always look for commonalities between yourselves. Find common ground, but keep in mind the conversation is about them, not you.
Of course, there are many other things that make up a great conversation, but this advice will help you get the discussion started within your business. Remember customer connection cannot happen until you start the conversation. Conversation shares energy and when done right, the energy shifts to connection.
To learn more about our “From Conversation to Connection” training program visit our Sales Leadership page.