When customers enter your store or first approach your company, they will develop a first impression. That impression could be the difference between success and failure. This is especially true with new customers who haven’t had an experience with you or your company. As we all know (or should know) customers are suspicious of salespeople. Through the years, customers have developed a negative stereotypical perception of salespeople. Ask yourself: How many of you have had a bad experience with a pushy or overly aggressive salesperson? Then put yourself in the customers’ shoes; they may perceive all salespeople that way.
The first impression that you make will set the tone for the entire sales presentation. The first impression may be both that you are smiling, happy, willing to serve and converse…or that you are just another stereotypical unprofessional salesperson. It is totally up to you.
Are you smiling and happy on the inside as well as on the outside? Does your body language tell customers that you are eager and willing to serve them and their needs? Do your eyes tell customers you are interested in helping fulfill the their wants and needs? Does the ambiance, or the feel of your company make customers feel comfortable and at “home” with your organization? Are the questions you ask designed to uncover the possible emotional aspect of the purchase? Are you focused on really listening to what customers are saying and what might be between the lines? Is your presentation conversational or interrogational? Is the radio or sound system helping to make customers feel comfortable with soft music that couldn’t possibly offend anyone?
All these things set the tone for the presentation and the first impression that customers may have. Look in the mirror at what the customers see and look at your company through the customers’ eyes. You may be surprised at what you see.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at iastraining.com.