Body Language; Yours
“Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.” I don’t remember where I heard that, but it continues to speak loudly to me. In selling there is nothing more important than the customer’s opinion and feelings about YOU! Too often I see a salesperson or customer service person (yes there is a difference) saying one thing while his or her mind is really on something else.
I’ve actually heard rude statements (commands) followed by or proceeded by the word “Sir” as if that undoes the prior or former comment.
Make it Sincere
Never give people that “stretched lip” smile that strangers give one another when passing by at the mall. A sincere smile is obvious, it’s wide, and teeth are showing. A warm, sincere smile is welcoming, while an insincere one can be seen regardless of what you are saying.
After saying something it is a good practice to be quiet and give the customer an opportunity to respond. What you want to say next is not as important as how the customer feels about what you just said. And, when the other person speaks, be sure that you are listening intently and not thinking about what you want to say next.
Words and how you empathize them are crucial. For example, take the sentence, “I didn’t say you stole it.” Now repeat it six times placing heavy emphasis on each of the six words in the sentence. “I didn’t say you stole it.” Emphasizing “I” indicates that someone else said that you stole it. “I DIDN’T say you stole it.” Emphasizing the word “Didn’t” suggests that it wasn’t stolen. “I didn’t SAY you stole it.” This could mean that what you said was misunderstood. “I didn’t say YOU stole it.” Said that way it sounds like someone else did steal it. “I didn’t say you STOLE it.” Said this way makes the inference that you did something else with it. Maybe you just borrowed it. “I didn’t say you stole IT.” Now you were saying that perhaps it was something else you said was stolen. Try this little exercise a few times to see the value of word emphasis.
These are all little things that make a big difference when a salesperson talks to a customer. Sadly customers are a bit leery of salespeople because of their past experiences. Go out of your way to make certain that this selling experience is a positive one.