Graham's Monthly Business Tip

Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010

lock-logoGreeting & Welcoming Your Clients In over 30 years of owning and operating Retail Stores, nothing and I repeat nothing frustrates me more than walking into a store and either being totally ignored or greeted with the old, "Can I Help You" as, it is at this point that all the money, time and effort you have put into presenting your product, idea or service has just been totally wasted. I want you to think about your own automatic reaction to this comment; and I bet that in 99% of occasions that this has happened to you, your response has been "just looking", and what makes this even worse is that the salesperson you are paying, has probably just thought, "Boy, I'm glad, now I can get back to what I want to do" At this point, I hope you are horrified, how could my staff do this, well to understand this, you have to ask yourself, "How Do I Greet Clients", have I actually spoken to my staff and more importantly followed through with training and mystery shoppers to make sure they are doing what is needed to be done, and if the answer is no to any of these points, then it is your fault that your business is not going in the direction you want it to. Don't despair as this can be easily rectified with some fun training. So What Can Be Done? In an ideal world every client that walks into your establishment would walk up to you and say, "I want this" but as we know that is not the case. Every business has its own unique product or service that it is offering, and it is up to us to engage a client to find out what their needs are. Sure some clients are just killing time today, but imagine if we made an impression on that person by our greeting and genuine interest that made them remember us when they were ready to purchase. Do you think the, "Can I Help You" then walking off to play computer games or engage in some non productive activity will encourage them to re-visit your business, I doubt it. Greetings Must Be Genuine & Sincere, ideally product or service related and ALWAYS Open Ended, meaning that your question will make your client think before answering, giving you the information you need to move forward. Let me give you a couple of examples.
  • A home brew store I have worked with greet their clients with, "Hello Welcome to our store, do you drink beer or spirits? (Note the Open Ended Question) Their answer automatically gives you some direction on products to present, and more importantly enables you to start establishing a relationship with them.
  • The Apple Computer Store near my office, greets their clients with the assistants name, immediately followed by, "Have You Used an Apple Before" if the answer is no, it is followed up by, "And what do you use your computer for" (Note the Open Ended Question) It is then quickly followed by a demonstration of how what you do on a computer can become even easier with an Apple.
So your homework is to work out a greeting or greetings that will enable your staff to engage with a client, to find out exactly what they are looking for and then lead into your presentation. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so please email me with what type of business you have and your ideas for greeting your clients. I will respond to all of them with my thoughts. Until Next Time Best Regards Graham Lock

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