Show Genuine Interest in the Customer

Show Genuine Interest in the Customer


People with experience in sales tend to reuse the same successful approach for all customers. In doing so, it is easy to forget that every business partner is an individual and should also be treated as such.

So, take a real interest in your customers. After all, empty phrases alone won’t help you achieve your goal. People quickly realise whether they are being taken seriously or being treated as just another figure on the balance sheet. So, approach your customers the way you would someone you know well.

The customer will see that you have a genuine interest in them and don’t just want to start selling your product right away after only three or four questions.

Five tips for approaching customers:

  • Address your customer by name and be friendly and honest with them.
  • Listen to them carefully and respond openly without shifting the focus of the conversation to you. If the customer starts talking about the stressful day they had at work, for example, don’t interrupt them so you can start your sales pitch as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t rely solely on words, which carry just 10% of the overall message: Make greater use of gestures and facial expressions, and adopt the right tone of voice.
  • Don’t worry about the amount of time you are taking. A satisfied customer who feels that they are in good hands with you, and keeps coming back, is more important than a quick conclusion to a single set of negotiations.
  • Memorise some details of the conversation so you can relate back to them in your next meeting.

If you remember yourself how pleasant it was to feel a genuine interest during a conversation, then you will understand exactly the positive effect this has on the other side.

Marc Pillay
Marc Pillay is the managing director of DEVELOP South Africa, a division of the Bidvest Group Limited. Pillay has been responsible for evolving the DEVELOP brand since its launch in the South African market in 2009. He brings 21 years of experience in the print industry and 18 years in sales and sales training to the role. He has proven track record in growing new business and developing new brands. He also sits on the Bidvest Office division board.