- The salesman in the store or on the phone. Attitude is most significant for the salesman, who often interacts thoroughly with the customer at the point-of-sale and may also deal with the customer again as a follow-up or regarding complaints.
- Managers who most often interact with customers who have a complaint. It’s important to resolve the problem efficiently. An irate customer in the store can influence other buyers. An upset customer even has influence online. It can also be the difference between word-of-mouth sales and word-of-mouth negative advertising.
- The cashier who writes up the sale or checks something on the register. Even when a different salesman has already convinced a customer to make a purchase, the deal isn’t sealed until the cashier completes the paperwork.
- People like inventors and authors who have a product to sell, but who may not be selling the product directly. They personally interact with many of their potential customers through marketing techniques. These people must also deal with complaints through product reviews much like managers must deal with customer complaints.
- Even an employee greeting people at the door, for example, can influence sales through attitude.
The ways that a poor attitude can spoil a sale are pretty obvious. Here are a few ways that attitudes can help facilitate sales:
- Charm. The reality is that people don’t just look at price, value, and the quality of the product. Even though customers may only interact with a representative for a few minutes, while using the product for months or more, people prefer good service. When the customer receives good service at the point-of-sale, that bodes well for good service if the product has problems. When inventors or authors, for example, charms potential customers during personal interactions, the fact that they care about the customer suggests that the same care may have been put into the product. Buyers also tend to be impulsive, for which charm can make the difference.
- Confidence. Representatives who show confidence sound knowledgeable. A customers is more apt to trust a confident salesperson. Lack of confidence leads to hesitation; doubt causes mistakes. Confidence helps to visualize and attain a positive outcome. The confidence of a representative can carry over to the customer, who wishes to be confident in the purchase decision. Bragging, on the other hand, tends to deter sales. It’s important to show confidence without seeming boastful.
- Courtesy. People generally respond well to courtesy, and poorly to the lack thereof. Even small things, like holding a door open, can make a significant difference. Put the customer in a good frame of mind. All representatives need to show customers that they want their business. Without the customers, there would be no business.
- Care. Customers like to feel special. Does it sound like a sales pitch? Was this rehearsed? Was the greeting or compliment mechanical, or did the representative really mean it? Going the extra mile shows the customer that the representative truly cares about the person, not just the sale. Inventors and authors, for example, are more likely to be successful in their interpersonal marketing endeavors when prospective buyers see their passion for the product and gauge that they care about their customers. Look the customer in the eye, address the customer by first name, and smile. Listen to what the customer says.
- Calm. Stay calm, cool, and collected. Customer service and public relations frequently present new and difficult situations that challenge representatives to remain calm and in control of their emotions. Customers expect representatives to behave professionally. It just takes one individual, even in a minor capacity before or after a sale, with one unprofessional outburst to blow a deal.
Be charming, confident, courteous, caring, and calm. Have a winning attitude. It’s almost like trying to get a date. 🙂
Chris McMullen, self-published author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers (Volumes 1 and 2)