Every day we engage with a business in one form or another.  Whether it is getting your coffee at the local coffee shop, getting gas at a self-serve station, meeting with your accountant, having lunch at the local deli, and on and on.

You patronize those businesses for a reason. Yes, you like coffee, need gas, review your taxes, and you’re hungry.  That is the top layer on why you spend your money at those businesses.  The real reason that you go to the local coffee shop, get gas near your house, meet with that one accountant, and eat lunch at that one deli is emotional.

All of our purchases are emotional. Let’s just focus on why you go to the coffee shop. You went to that one particular coffee shop for a reason. Do they have the best coffee in town? If so, would you be willing to drive 50 miles out of your way every day to get a better cup of coffee? Is that coffee shop convenient?  You probably pass more than 2 coffee shops on your way to work? Do you like the ambiance? Your decision to go to that coffee shop is purely emotional.

Being that your decision to get your coffee at that particular shop versus their competition is satisfied by that coffee shops relationship with you that satisfies your emotional purchase. They may not have the best coffee in town. You could visit five other coffee shops with faster wait times on the way to work. Another coffee shop reminds you of Italy.

From the coffee shop owners point of view, they want to retain you as a customer, have you refer them to other people just like you, and not have you go to any other coffee shop in the area. So, how do they do this?

The coffee shop owner could put a lot of time into training his staff to be the in the customer relationship business.  Notice, I did not say customer service – big difference.  Customer service is you ordering something and getting it.  Customer relationship is building a high-quality, long-term relationship with prospects and customers.

Does the coffee shop owner need to hire the greatest salespeople in the world to have great customer relations?  No. But, the owner does need to train his staff to understand how the customer feels as a person. Since the customer is making an emotional purchase, you as the salesperson (and YES we are all salespeople) must have the following skills:

  • A positive mental attitude
  • Be courteous
  • Be agreeable
  • Really appreciate the customer
  • Make them feel valued
  • Show them the attention they deserve
  • Compliment them (not fake compliments)
  • Show admiration for them
  • Follow the golden rule

Think about why you like going to your favorite store, restaurant, business and how were you treated?  Were you treated like the most valuable person in the world? Or, did the person behind the counter never look up from their phone to acknowledge that you entered the store?

Successful salespeople are far better at building and maintain high-quality relationships with their prospects and customers than the average salesperson. How the customer FEELS about you as a person will have more of an influence on what the customer decides than any other factor.  Developing a positive personality will lead to long-term sales success, it will allow you to become nicer, more positive and more liable and that positive reputation will keep your customers and prospects.

By developing, continually practicing, and performing these skills in your business you will stay ahead of your competition.

Steve will be presenting one of the breakout sessions at the 2017 Greater Phoenix SCORE Small Business Symposium, April 18, 2017, at the Glendale Civic Center. Free to Attend including Lunch! Click here for more info. 

About the Author(s)

 Steve   Feld

Steve Feld is a Certified SCORE Mentor and a business coach.

Business Coach, Feld Business Growth
How to Stay Ahead of the Competition through Customer Relationships