20 tips for building customer relationships

20 tips for building customer relationships

The first impression of the interlocutor is formed in a few seconds. During subsequent communication the brain searches for confirmation of this opinion, which is already difficult to change. Therefore, if the first contact did not create trust, the client is unlikely to listen to the words of the seller.

At the same time, customers do not like to communicate with salespeople. This can be overcome only by a well-tested sales technique: words, intonation, appearance should be representative and dispose the person.

The final goal of establishing contact with the buyer is to sell products. It consists of small tasks, the successive completion of which will lead to the realization of what has been conceived.  

Make a good first impression

The first impression the client has of you is formed in 30 seconds. During this time, he determines whether you are friendly or dangerous, expert or stupid, pleasant or not, whether you are worth trusting your problem. 

And non-verbal signals play a big role. It's not as important what the manager says as how he does it. The timbre of the voice, rhythm, visual appeal, gestures, and only then, the content of the speech have an impact on the client.

Get the client's attention

This stage determines whether the conversation with the client will take place. In a dialog it is important that the salesperson speaks no more than 20% of the time, the rest of the time the client speaks (for example, about his problem or what he is looking for).

In order for the client to engage in a dialogue, you need to be interesting to him. General rules can help with this:

  • A polite smile;  
  • Absence of verbal cliches (for example, "Can I help you?");
  •  Maintaining a social distance (1-1.5 meters);
  • periodic eye contact;
  • mimicking the pace of the client's speech;
  • use of gestures.

Introduce Yourself

When a sales manager says his name and title, he shows trust and respect for the customer. This makes him not just a salesman, but a human being. Also, to make contact with the customer, you should get to know his name. People like to be addressed by their name, its mention psychologically disposes to the interlocutor.

Get the client interested

The client should be interested in your consultation. To do this, you need to find out what product or service he is looking for. The seller should know the strengths of the product, what exactly he can offer, based on the needs of the customer. For example, if the company sells functional robot vacuum cleaners, you can build a conversation about saving time with special devices. If the topic is interesting, the customer will pick up on the conversation; if not, it's worth moving directly to a conversation about the products.   

Ask a question

In an effort to gain attention faster through continuous conversation, employees lose sight of the customer's need. Contact with the customer can't consist of one salesman's monologue. Therefore, the dialogue must ask leading questions that are open-ended (they cannot be answered by "yes" or "no").

Listen to the customer

People like to talk about their experiences, searches and problems. Therefore, it is important to give them the opportunity to speak without interrupting. The maximum you can do in such a situation is to ask appropriate questions.

Offer a ready-made solution

This is the final stage, as the main contact with the client is established. The buyer has learned what the company offers and how competent the sales manager is. To eliminate the last doubts before the purchase, it is necessary to tell about promotions and discounts, if they are available in the store. The offer should be presented through the lens of an individual solution to the customer's problem.

Tools for making contact

The first contact with a customer requires prior preparation. What tools are useful for this, we will consider below.

A working sales script

A sales script is thought-out speech blocks with which the salesperson addresses the customer. Communication should be built according to a given scheme, completely excluding improvisation. Answers to common questions and frequent objections are better rehearsed to speak confidently.  
A sales script is most often used in cold calls. At a face-to-face meeting it is impossible to prescribe exactly how the conversation will go. In this case, the key parameters of behavior are defined, which are used as a guide during the conversation.

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Intonation, emotions and charisma

When a salesperson knows what needs to be said, the brain is not distracted by the task and focuses on the goal. This affects the emotional coloring of the conversation: intonation, rhythm, and volume of voice. They should please the client and dispose him to the conversation. A dialogue with the use of correctly chosen emotions looks like this:

  • "Good afternoon." The words should be spoken loudly and confidently enough. The salesperson looks openly at the client, smiling slightly. He then pauses to allow the customer to respond.
  • "My name is ..., I am a specialist in the electronics department." The "I'm a specialist" construction should be slightly separated from the rest of the words with a slow pronunciation.  
  • "Are you choosing an item for yourself or as a gift?" The question should be unobtrusive. It is optimal to use it after general phrases, having first established contact with the customer.
  • "Great, you're in luck, as we're having a sale right now. I'm going to ask you some questions so I can pick the best option?" Positive words like "great," "best option," and "you're in luck" should be emphasized a little in your voice, making them louder. Say the sentence with a smile and a positive intonation.

These auditory techniques will help the client unconsciously trust the salesperson. Politeness, positivity, and the right accents are components of successful communication.

Appearance of the seller

Branded clothes can't hide untidiness. The seller should look impeccable: clean, neat, without unnecessary decorative elements. A calm and confident appearance will attract the client to the conversation, and slovenly will create an unpleasant impression, even if the seller will be a highly skilled specialist.

Psychological Techniques of First Contact

Establishing contact with a customer requires the use of not only auditory or visual techniques, but also psychological ones. There are certain triggers - hooks - to which customers respond and engage in conversation.

Smile

A sincere, non-strained smile makes any conversation pleasant and will help the client gain sympathy for the salesperson. A positive attitude will set a good tone for communication.

We-speak

Contact with the customer implies a sense of unity: both buyer and seller are interested in solving the problem. This effect can be achieved through constructions like "we are with you," "in our case," etc. The client needs to feel ownership of the company, a sense of community with its views and values. Then he becomes a full partner, not a stranger who someone tries to foist an unwanted product on.

Personal conversations

Conversations about personal things should have certain limits and not go beyond professional interests. If the company sells goods for children, it is appropriate to ask about children, if the goods for entertainment - a conversation about hobbies. It is necessary to go beyond the duty phrases and show sincere interest in the question, in order to dispose the interlocutor to talk about personal matters.

Mirroring

This psychological technique is used only during the live meeting. It is based on copying the client's posture and gestures, which indicates solidarity with him on a non-verbal level. A smile in response to a smile, detachment if the customer is detached. This helps the client to relax and feel that his personal space is not violated, and the initiative in communication is supported.

Communicating on an equal footing

It is important to show that you and the interlocutor are on the same page. The salesperson should not become an ingratiating employee. Such a position has no authority and expertise: the client will not buy anything from someone who is inferior to him in status. The sales manager should position himself as a professional whose opinion is valuable. The relationship with the customer should be a partnership, not an intrusive one.

Compliments

The standard phrase "you have good taste" will be pleasant praise for the client. A compliment, if you say it in passing, will favor the interlocutor and allow the dialogue to flow more smoothly.
A conversation on distracted topics

It would be appropriate to discuss the market situation in which the deal takes place. Talking about world events, news can also be useful. The client will understand that you understand the situation and can give advice.

Mentioning an expert

Appealing to authorities is a classic sales technique. It is worth mentioning only those media personalities that the buyer knows for sure. If the reference is unsuccessful, you should quickly change the direction of the conversation.

Quote of a great man

Quotes from recognized authors don't raise questions for anyone. It is better to use non-trivial, witty and practical phrases directly related to the subject of the conversation. This will emphasize erudition and will arouse respect.

Mistakes in establishing contact with the client

When interacting with a customer, mistakes often occur. The most common among them are:

  • Too close contact. 

Invasion of personal space will not please anyone. The seller needs to keep a distance of at least one meter, otherwise the client will get nervous and think about leaving.

  • Improperly chosen tone. 

Emphasized cold communication or, on the contrary, ingratiating intonation repulses people. The conversation should be friendly, polite and neutral.

  • Increased Attention. 

Insistence in sales can have a negative effect. In this case, the buyer is more likely to prefer to leave the store.

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  • Long monologue. 

When talking to a customer, most of the time the salesperson is listening and looking for the best solution to the problem. He should be present in the conversation mostly with open, leading questions, but in no way take up all the time with a monologue.

Conclusion

The basic rules of making contact with the client will help you to have the right conversation and to conclude a mutually beneficial deal. It is important to remember that the client is a living person with his own problems and needs. Showing courtesy, solidarity and tact will make a good impression. And a well-chosen product will make the customer a regular customer for many years to come.