How To Make A Personal Connection With Customers

How To Make A Personal Connection With Customers

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Here are seven tips on salesmanship that can help you develop that special rapport with potential customers.

1. Model your business on the corner store.

If you long for the days of shopping at a local business where the owner knew your name, try to emulate that experience. Remember one or two details about your customer and bring them up in conversation.

2. Ask questions first.

Before you launch into a hard sell, take time to probe your prospect. Ask questions that will help your customer explain what he’s looking for.

3. Court your clients.

Selling is like dating in that you have to woo customers and hope they return the attention. Figure that for every ten people you want to reach, three will want to set up appointments to hear more about your product.

4. Talk about yourself.

Reveal something about yourself. Just be sure it’s something your customer can relate to and isn’t too personal.

5. Really listen to the prospect.

There’s nothing more insulting than feeling that you’re being ignored. Asking someone a question and truly listening to the response, rather than beginning to formulate a response while the other person is speaking, is so important.

 

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6. Step away from your computer and smartphone.

While it’s often much quicker and less stressful to email a potential customer, face-to-face meetings and networking are far more effective in creating meaningful connections.

7. Be patient.

Like many important things in life, it takes patience to develop lasting customer relationships. Fight the urge to rush the process. Take the time to explain how your product or service will benefit the prospect. Be patient as you cultivate this new contact. You never want to make a prospect feel rushed or hustled.

Lambeth Hochwald
Lambeth Hochwald is a freelance journalist and a contributing editor at Scholastic Parent & Child magazine. A lifestyles writer who also reports stories for Coastal Living, HGTV magazine, O The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple and Redbook, Lambeth started her career covering the magazine business at Folio: and is an adjunct professor at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.