In a recent tweet, salesman extraordinaire (currently speaker and multi-bestselling author), Joe Girard wrote:
“More things are bought through emotion than through logic. What are you doing to make your customer comfortable?”
What a great statement and question. And, Joe Girard should know. For 12 years in a row, he was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the “Greatest Salesman in the World” in terms of number of new car sales. And, we’re not talking fleet sales, but individual new cars!
He did this through relationship building second to none (literally, “Second to none!”) 🙂
In this article, let’s look at the question part of his tweet. What are we doing to make our customers/prospects comfortable?
Upon their visit, how are they being greeted? Remember, your receptionist is not only their initial contact but their first emotional connection! Does he or she make them feel welcome and comfortable, or as though they are an interruption?
When you greet them, do you have a genuine, authentic, warm smile that makes them feel … comfortable?
When you sit down with them, do you take the time to establish and develop rapport in order to make them comfortable with you? Remember, all things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” In other words…they must buy YOU before they buy what you are selling.
During your presentation are you empathetic to their concerns and feelings? Remember, you know more about your product or service than they do, and the process that takes them through the sale. If they are feeling defensive based on their own perceived ignorance, the chances are not good that they will buy. And, even if they do, under those circumstances they will not feel good about the sale.
And, are you edifying your team so that your prospects feel comfortable in dealing with anyone and everyone in your company? This is also so important.
Whether your prospects and customers are comfortable or not is up to you. What do you do to ensure they are? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us, both as the seller and the buyer.
Enjoy this post? Receive an update when our next post is published by entering your best email address below and clicking Get Updates.
Such important thoughts here, Bob. Reminds me of when I ran a medical practice. Our mission statement ended with the phrase “…and to help our patients and each other feel welcome, respected and cared about.” We knew that no matter how skilled the physicians were, how advanced our equipment was, how beautiful our facility might be…none of that mattered if our patients didn’t feel comfortable and important every time they came to see us. Thanks for the memory…and the great advice.
Little things make a difference, Bob. In fact, they can make a BIG difference. One of those little things is a digital picture frame on the reception desk. It is programmed with a photo (usually a free one off of Google images) and a note scribed with “Welcome, Bob!”
So, if we know that someone is a diehard St Louis Cardinals fan (and many are in this baseball crazy town), we might pull down a couple of Cardinals photos. These play in a slideshow with the message welcoming the client.
Another great post that salespeople and business owners would do well to listen to.
I’m a practitioner of direct-response marketing which many would call “salesmanship in print.”
As example, in lead generation, we have the same responsibility of making prospects comfortable by lowering the barrier of resistance to get them to respond.
That’s why the most effective lead gen pieces instruct the prospect to visit a website for a free report or to call a toll-free number to listen to a free recorded message (yes, even today). While there are exceptions (in terms of who the prospect is) the “free consultation” offered by so many just sounds too risky – they fear talking to some “slick salesperson” who will *hypnotically manipulate* them out of their money.
Our entire selling environment is made of copy, but the principle is the same. If you don’t make them comfortable, you can’t make an impact.
Thanks Bob. This is so true. Love the “Edify” video. Another short, impactful video. You are the best at that. Building your “Team” up and talking positively about them is a Great idea. Also, there is no doubt the customer has to feel comfortable with you. Like you have said before, ask some good questions, Listen intently and let THEM talk. It works. Thanks again Bob.
Steve, thank you!
Joe, you’re right; the little things have big impact. And, that’s a great idea you have!
Linda(r), what a great statement. And, when actions are in alignment with that, it can only result in very happy (and comfortable) patients!
Hi Marc. Those of you in direct-response marketing have mastered the process of helping the prospect stay comfortable within the process, and that’s without it being face-to-face! 🙂 Yes, the principles are indeed the same!
Al, thank you. So glad you enjoyed the video!
Great points Bob! I’ve always thought it was funny how the ‘receptionist’ is typically treated like ‘the low man on the totem pole’. They should be one of the most well trained and well paid employees!
HeatherO, absolutely (in my opininon). I’ve always said that and, while there are many who are terrific, I’m always bewildered by how many are…not.
My mom is a Master at connecting with hearts on the phone. She worked with me for 7 years and the bond she created with our brides before they even got there was beautiful. They actually came into the Bridal Salon already knowing and loving her. When our Mexico brides came in, she would tell them she can’t speak Spanish, but she could sing in Spanish. LOL She would sing to them and they would giggle and hug her, while calling her “Precious-o.” After mom moved to Oklahoma, people asked for her for over a year. ( 🙁 I miss my mommy.)
As part of who we are as a team, we all go out of our way to make the bride comfortable. A few things we do are to immediately congratulate them in their engagement, and thank them for coming to us to help them. And then we ask many questions. What do you have in mind? What is your setting? Do you have an idea of how much you want to spend? After we have established a few things, we kind of educate them on what we have to offer and how their appointment will go.
Here is an example, “Okay, you may try as many gowns as you would like, and as we go we will begin comparing each gown to the previous ones, so we can get a clear picture of what you love. We will dress you, bring you out to the main room, to put you on a pedestal while we try veils. The way it works here, is that these are our sample gowns and when we find yours, we will measure you and order it according to the size chart. Its half down to order and the rest is due upon the gowns arrival, which is 16-20 weeks.” This seems to ease their unspoken questions, and they focus on the gown, rather than the process.
As we go into the dressing room, someone else on the team offers the brides guests, coffee, cookies, champagne, water etc. Then they will pop their head in the dressing room and tell the bride what her family chose to drink and ask if she too wants some. We really work as team, so that the bride is comfortable and confident in all of our abilities.
Dats how we do it My Bob! How do you do it? You sure have a way of making people comfy as well.
Excellent advice throughout your post, Amy. And, based on what you wrote about your Mom, it’s no wonder at all that you have such a terrific way of making your prospects and customers feel so welcome. Good (make that “great!”) for you … and them! 🙂
This is so crucial. It’s a bit shocking that more businesses don’t “get” this. Having others feel comfortable is paramount when it comes to building remarkable relationships. Just last week, I was discussing this with a colleague — we talked about the importance of clients feeling (consistently) “connected” and “taken care of.” Great post, Bob!
Wonderful post, Bob! Such an excellent question which, your friend, Joe Girard poses. Customer service needs to be the principal focus for any business. As a buyer, I look for companies which make customers feel comfortable and accepted. It can range from friendly online/phone service to a clean and organized business space. These factors definitely influence my spending habits. Thanks again and keep up the marvelous work!
Making customers comfortable is a bit of a pun when your in the heating & cooling business. 🙂
Thank you, Steve. Yes, I’m always amazed at that myself. The most important part of the process…they often focus on the least.
Chi Chi, thank you. Yep, Joe is the best. A true pro!
Very true, David. In your case, comfortable both with the process, and LITERALLY the results! 🙂
Thanks BOB,I have learn something from your great post.I have to tell you I am one of your true fans now .am I the first chinese fans for you?hahaha ~
Ni hao Christie. Xie xie for your very kind words. I am one of YOUR true fans, as well! 🙂
Great point Bob. Just yesterday I spent 15 mins of my 1 hour appointment getting to understand my potential clients’ business, and finding out who his best prospects are so I can know what a good referral is for him. I think people are surprised when we don’t make it “all about us”…but that we are geninuely interested in THEM! It definitly changes the playing field!
Wow – that’s awesome, Danita. Way to go. It changes everything, doesn’t it?!