Now that you’ve started in the job that you have desired, it’s important to stay focused enough to keep this job long term and maintain your performance and achievements. Simply working the job every day is not enough – you must know what is expected of you and how your boss or manager will measure that for you. You must also know who you can ask for help if you feel that your performance may be slipping and how you can get it back on track.
Active listening is a skill that almost everyone needs to develop, but definitely appreciated by all. Active listening is much more than a few “uh-huhs” and “mmms”. Active listening shows your customer that you are hearing what they are saying, that you are engaged, and that you appreciate them and what they have to say.
Active listening is just that, listening, not interrupting, not daydreaming, but concentrating on what the other person is saying, their body language, etc. Active listening involves facing the person speaking, blocking out all distractions, and concentrating on what they are saying. Do not interrupt, instead, wait to speak when the other person is finished or pauses.
How to actively listen:
Have you ever heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” If you don’t see something, you don’t think about it. You do not want your clients to think this way about you. If a customer doesn’t hear from you for an extended time, they assume that you don’t like them, or do not want any of their sales, or their money. There are many ways for you to communicate or check in with your clients. A quick stop in their shop, or a telephone call/voice mail, lets them know that you are thinking of them. Another way to communicate with your clients is to email them the newsletter, or latest promotion that your company is offering.
Ways to communicate, other than the sale:
Rewarding customers is a great sales tool. It not only increases the communication chances between you and the customer, simply put, everyone likes a present. Rewarding customers does not have to cost your commission, there are many things that you can do, to show the customer that you appreciate their business. Happy customers write positive reviews and glowing testimonials.
Upgrade something for the client, maybe a membership, or their shipping. Give the customer coupons off the next purchase, or contact them early about upcoming promotional periods. Try giving out free stuff like swag; everybody enjoys free promotional products, so keep lots of that handy. Something that speaks volumes is a hand-written note. A quick thank you will let the customer know how much you appreciate their business.
Building new relationships can be difficult for some people. Reaching out to new people can be intimidating, but necessary in the sales profession. Use your communication skills with every person that you encounter. Don’t ignore a client or give them less of your time, just because you think they may not be interested. Go the extra mile to reach out to everyone. You never know when a client will reveal a new problem that you will be able to solve.
After making the connection, you must grow that new relationship. Call on the client, follow up with them, ask for reviews and give rewards. The way that you would like to be treated as a new client, that is the extra attention that you should give your new customers.
Stacy has a new client that just completed his first purchase. She goes to her manager Phil to tell him the news. Phil takes this time to make sure that Stacy knows how to build a good relationship with this client. First, he suggests that Stacy actively listen when the client speaks, listen more than she talks. He also suggested that she check in on the customer periodically, even though they may not be making a purchase. Lastly, he suggested that she send the client a thank you gift, with a note. Rewarding the customers is a way to be memorable, and show the customer that they are appreciated. Stacy left and applied Phil’s suggestions. Two weeks later, she had a repeat sale, and a great review online from this customer.