Around the Water Cooler: Tips to Get Ahead!

dreamstime_m_14248554businessman listening hearKey Communication Skills Necessary For Success

“I don’t get it! I hear what the customer wants, but I can never get it right! I can never satisfy them and frankly, they irritate me!  What am I doing wrong?”

Yes, it can be difficult to understand what your customers are asking and how to respond to help them and hopefully, close the sale.  Effective communication involves many different skills to connect with your clients.  Here are some key skills to develop and master:

Communication begins with good eye contact and positive body language.  “Smile and the world smiles with you” is effective when dealing with customers.  Your body language will signal interest and warmth and help to begin building a good rapport with your customers and leading them in a positive direction.

Active Listening is a good way to ensure that you understand your customer and “get it right.”  Active Listening is a communication technique that requires you to give “feedback” to your customer on what you are hearing.  Your customer will let you know if you are correct.  In other words, you re-state or paraphrase what you think you customer is saying and then you can clarify any misunderstandings.

Smile at the customer, have good eye contact, and ask “How can I help.” Then you begin the process of active listening.  By asking the customer “Did I understand you correctly?” or “ I share your frustration,” or “I know what you mean,” you are showing the customer that you are processing their statements and on track with what they are saying.  

My wife and I were shopping for a car last year and we told the salesperson at the auto dealership that we needed to find an automobile that “fits” our different heights.  We asked what car would solve our unique problem.  Surprisingly, we never saw the inside of a car.  We saw the inside of the sales office with questions on our financial history.  The sales person never looked at us and never indicated that he heard us at all. After we repeated our request to look at a car with no action, we left.  

We bought our car at a dealership that had a salesperson that smiled, gave us good eye contact, and actively listened to our request.  She then searched to find the car that would fit.  We had a choice of three models and were pleased that all three solved our problem.  Our sales person then asked how much we were willing to pay and found a car that fit our price range.  When she “asked for the order,” we gladly complied.  In fact, we referred several of our friends to that dealership!  

The customer service process begins with a smile, good eye contact, and actively listening to the customer.  One sales rep didn’t listen and immediately did the financial qualification questionnaire, ignoring the customer’s desires.  The other sales rep listened and understood what the customer wanted and gave them what they asked.  With a pleased customer, she was able to move the sales process towards a successful conclusion to the satisfaction of everyone, including her boss!  

The Secret to Success?: Look, Listen, and Give the Customer What They Want.

That is not news.  It is just good sense.  


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