10 Commandments of Dealing with Clients
Committed to Deliver Excellence in All I Do
- Be a Good Listener
Take the time to identify client needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the client is really saying. Listen to their words, the tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions - thinking you intuitively know what the client wants. Do you know what three things are most important to your client? Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important on the showroom floor where there is a great danger of preoccupation - looking around to see to whom else we could be selling to.
- Identify and Anticipate Needs
Clients don't buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Most client needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your clients, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming needs.
- Make Clients Feel Important and Appreciated
Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Think about ways to generate good feelings about doing business with you. Clients are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them. Thank them every time you get a chance.
- Body Language Is Key
On the show floor be sure that your body language conveys sincerity. Your words and actions should be congruent.
- Understanding Is Crucial
Help clients understand your systems. Your organization may have the world's best systems for getting things done, but if clients don't understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don't reduce the human element of your organization.
- Appreciate the Power of "Yes"
Always look for ways to help your clients. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterward. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.
- Know How to Apologize
When something goes wrong, apologize. It's easy and clients like it. The client may not always be right, but the client must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let clients know what you have done. Make it simple for clients to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if clients are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.
- Give More Than Expected
Since the future of all companies lies in keeping clients happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:
What can you give clients that they cannot get elsewhere?
What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don't buy?
What can you give clients that is totally unexpected?
- Get Regular Feedback
Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways in which you can find out what clients think and feel about your services.
Listen carefully to what they say.
Check back regularly to see how things are going.
Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments, and suggestions.
- Treat Co Workers Well
Co-workers are your internal clients and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your co-workers with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for clients. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating clients and co-workers well is equally important.