How to connect to your customers’ emotions

Leonard Zell explains how to connect with a customer when trying to seal a sale

When a customer enters your store, or if a customer has been in your store, how soon should you greet them?

  • Wait a few seconds
  • As soon as you see them
  • Whatever feels comfortable

The answer is B – as soon as you see them.

This is critical because the customer’s first impression counts. Waiting several seconds before greeting a customer does not connect to their buying emotions because the salesperson greeted them like a stranger. When I ask salespeople in my seminars: “If that customer were a good friend of yours how soon would  you greet them?” A light comes on and they answer: “Oh, right away. However you do not have to approach a customer right away. Stay where you are and approach them after they reply to your greeting.

This is important. Make sure when greeting customers it is with a smile and enthusiasm as you would a good friend coming into your store. This is how you make a positive connection to your customer’s buying emotions.

Jewellery stores have a huge advantage over any other type of retailer. Customers come in to buy almost always for happy occasions. Therefore it stands to reason they are happy because the joy of their wedding anniversary, birthday or Christmas is on their mind. If they see a salesperson not smiling or greeting them without enthusiasm or a smile they are not connecting and that is a turn-off and you hear the reply: “Just looking.” Selling jewellery is an advantage over any other gift because it becomes a memory and a family heirloom. This is why your customers come in happy and you should show happiness too.

You have read many of my articles that your smile and enthusiasm are the keys to selling fine jewellery, I have proved this time and again by spotting the leading salesperson when I am in a jewellery store. It is the one, and usually the only one with a great smile and enthusiasm and retains it during the entire sale. Her personality is connecting with all her customers. They became friends because she greeted them as a friend and even better have become repeat customers.  

Actually, most of you have it, but only at home when greeting a friend at your door, or at a party when greeting a friend as soon as you see them. However, it is difficult for most salespeople to do it with first time customers. When I ask salespeople: “Are you more comfortable when customers come in for the third time.” They say: “Yes.”  Then I ask: “Why does a customer have to come in three times to get the greeting they should have had the first time?” Again, the light dawns.

There is good news. Any salesperson can acquire this outgoing friendly attitude. It takes practice and your mobile phone will get you there. Place it on a sales counter, turn on the recorder and have another salesperson act as the customer entering your store. Greet her as soon as you see her and do it a few times. You may not like what you hear, but few do.  Regardless, your recorder speaks the truth. You must understand you hear yourself through your inner ear and not what comes from your mouth. Therefore you have to exaggerate your greeting at first until it sounds forced and when you play it back it will sound just fine. After a while, it becomes natural.

The next day practice first thing in the morning. This gets your selling juices going and you will be warmed up for your first customer. Don’t let up, keep practicing with roleplaying. It beats practising with a customer which will cost you sales because you will make mistakes during a sale. It would be like a football player not practising until there’s a match.

To be a top salesperson it takes practice and role-playing has the highest rate of retention and costs you nothing. I have seen time and again new salespeople who have that zip in their personality and outsold veterans in their store. You can too.

This feature first appeared in the March 2017 issue of Jewellery Focus

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Lewis Catchpole

Lewis is a multimedia journalist and a alumnus of the University of Sheffield. He is a keen reader, follower of all sports and an avid supporter of Manchester United, for better or for worse. If you have any news or feature ideas please do not hesitate to contact.

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