As much as we might like to credit our customers for their forthright and fully considered choices, these days a customer has so many options when it comes to buying nearly anything that they can’t really be blamed for relying on first impressions. That means how your store looks, how your staff interact with your customers and how easy to use your internet shop is, is key to running a successful business. That’s why image is one of the main topics in ADL’s sales skills and sales courses – it matters so much.
However, it’s not simply about looking good, as one might immediately expect. Business is an act of trust, and customers are looking to you and your representative to portray an image of integrity, ethics, knowledge, reliability and organization. They want to feel and know when they do business with your company that you are somebody whose advice they can trust and who they can hold to their word. Just read the BBC Business news and see how much is about the breaking or building of trust.
This is why business-wear is so dominant in the dress sense of many companies, the idea being to portray and image of authority that can meet customers demand. It looks good, without usually seeming extravagant. While it may not be practical in more warehouse like businesses, even the managers in supermarkets and DIY stores will usually be found in my business like attire, as opposed to their T-shirt wearing colleagues.
However, even if the work place uniform is more casual, attire is important, even essential, that any employee who might interact with customers is clean and well-presented wearing properly pressed clothes and devoid of any unpleasant bodily odours. And this doesn’t just extend to sales people – shelf stackers, delivery people and other people who your customers might approach for staff must all be well presented.
Next, and perhaps more important, is the need to ensure that your staff are approachable and outwardly friendly. People buy from people they trust. If your staff make your customers feel unwelcomed or unvalued, they will remember that experience and will be less likely to shop with you again, or worse, recommend others to avoid you.
Train your colleagues and employees in how to interact with your customers and ensure that their managers or you are mindful of difficulties that may undermine the effectiveness of an employee. An overworked, stressed and angry Employee is not an asset, they’re a liability and their poor mood is infectious.
This applies as much to your customer service personnel if running an online or remote business as anyone else. While your customers may not physically see your representative, how they present themselves is crucial on how your customers will feel about your business.
Sales is the cornerstone of every business – No Sales, No Income, No Job! Whether you’re looking to develop your selling ability for yourself or to train others, ADL has a selection of sales courses to help.