Last month, my mum arrived here and told me of her extremely first positive experience at the Kigali International Airport.
She had wanted to buy some drinks at the duty free shop and when she entered the shop, the lady welcomed her with a big smile and availed herself to her.
Even though mum could not find the exact drinks she was looking for, the sales lady insisted that she tries other types.
Apparently, the lady was professional enough to convince mum to buy something different from her initial plan. And as Mum later on admitted; it was the friendliness and professionalism that made her buy.
I personally think that sometimes sales people don’t imagine how effective their attitudes boost their sales.
When we talk of sales, we need to understand that it is not only people in shops who sell. This is because we are all in sales. Anytime we try to influence someone’s actions or thoughts, when we are selling.
I have often gone to companies that spend huge money on advertising and branding of their products only to let down by the staff.
Advertisement alone is not enough if you do not take time to train your staffs on selling techniques.
Your front line staff should be trained in such a manner that cordiality and hospitality become their first minimum required assets.
Here below are some selling principles for all contact staffs.
1. Acknowledge straight away your clients
Whether you will be ready to provide service in one or twenty minutes, an early acknowledgement says “I’m glad to see you and I value your coming here. We will help you as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience.” Your acknowledgement is often just an eye contact, a smile or a hand gesture.
How many times have you walked in a store and you weren’t acknowledged? How did you feel?
Eye contact is a very powerful form of acknowledging the customer.
2. Ask your customers how you may be help to them A customer who enters your shop doesn’t come because he is bored at home. He comes because he has a need. Be interested in your customers and inquire about their needs. Learn to ask questions and listen carefully. Respond appropriately.
As a sales person, you become a consultant to the customer as you can advise and even suggest new products unknown to your customers.
3. Then serve the customer without wasting time
Any other issue should wait while the customer is right there in your shop.
Your conversation with your friends; your chat on messenger, your papers works etc should all be put on hold while you are serving the customers;
And please, avoid dragging your feet. Be energetic and fast. No one wants to waste too much time today. Remember Time is Money….even in Rwanda.
4. Thank your customer
This is often forgotten or neglected. Service staff should thank automatically all their customers for coming to do business with them.
Thanking the customer means that you appreciate his patronage. Wish them a good day and invite them to come back again.Even if they didn’t buy, still be pleasant with them while they are leaving your shop. This positive last impression will bring them back.
I’m sure that if you put these principles into practice, you will see the results on your bottom line.
The author is a customer service expert currently working in Rwanda.