Greeting Your Customer
Every customer interaction begins with the greeting. The second a customer walks through your door, you have ONE opportunity to make an outstanding first impression. This is the first step in the sales process, so if you mess up here, you can really hurt your chances at winning over your customer and securing the sale. However, if you can execute the greeting successfully, you can establish yourself in the eyes of your customer as a friend and trusted adviser, lay the foundation for a rock solid sale, and add another loyal and valuable customer to your network! Here are a few helpful tips:
Greet the customer promptly and SMILE!
No one likes waiting when they come in for help, least of all in a store that is empty. You can rise from your seat in anticipation of your customer from the moment you see their car pull in or the moment you see someone walking to your door so you are completely ready when the door opens to usher them into your store. Smile, and greet the customer loudly and confidently the moment they step in your store. Here is a sample greeting you can use every time you have a customer:
Hi, how’s it going? What brings you in today?
Having a standard greeting for every customer ensures that you are not fumbling for words and that you can execute the greeting confidently and consistently, every single time.
Hint: Smiling and addressing your customer by their first name does wonders for building rapport.
Step out from behind the counter
We’ve all had the experience of being greeted by a salesperson with zero enthusiasm from behind a computer monitor. When a customer is coming in for help, this is the worst possible response they can receive. Show the customer you really value them by meeting them out on the sales floor rather than buried behind your computer. You really have to be quick and proactive about getting to the sales floor before your customer does to do this effectively. If you are slow or clumsy in getting out from behind the counter, you may run the risk of confusing your customer or simply getting there too late. The second you see a customer at your door, be up and out on the sales floor to receive them. The idea is to get there before they do. If your customer is already through your door, you can initiate your greeting as you walk up to meet them.
If you have a busy store full of customers or are already assisting someone, you can still greet customers that are coming in with the following:
Hi, how’s it going? I’ll be with you in just a moment!
Make sure to execute the greeting the moment the customer enters so as not to leave them waiting. Touch back with them every few minutes with the following so they know that you haven’t forgotten about them:
Sorry for the wait, I’m almost done here. I just need a few more minutes.
If you have a free moment where you are waiting for your current customer (while they are filling out a form, on the phone, or picking out a case), you can greet the customer again as ask what brings them in. This way, you can multitask and help both customers at the same time as you are waiting on the other customer.
Also, never hesitate to apologize to your customers. Superfluous apologies have been demonstrated to to assist in building rapport and establish trust. In one study, researchers who apologized for the rain were more likely to be loaned a cell phone by complete strangers than people who did not apologize.
If you are not yet comfortable or happy with your greeting, you can practice anytime you have an empty store. Deliberate practice makes perfect, so make sure you are using every free moment and every customer interaction to hone your skills until you have a strong, cheerful, and engaging greeting.