Professional Jeweler Archive: Connect With Customers

January 2001

For Your Staff/Communication


Connect With Customers

There are several levels of communication, and each will increase your chance of making a sale


Survival in any industry depends on being able to read and connect with people. With use of the Internet growing and people cocooning at home, the importance of connecting with your customers continues to increase. Simply put, customers like a retailer better if they feel this connection.

People buy from people they like, not from people they don’t like, according to Luisa Graff of Luisa Graff Diamonds & Jewelers, Colorado Springs, CO. She discussed the topic in “There’s More Than One Way to Communicate with Customers,” a seminar organized by Charlotte Preston Catalysts, White Bear Lake, MN, and presented during the recent Professional Jeweler Show & Conference in Las Vegas.

Conscious vs. Subconscious

You can connect with customers several ways. The conscious level of connection consists of the greeting and asking open-ended questions such as “Hi, how are you?” or “What special occasion brings you in today?” Use customers’ names as often as possible to put them at ease and make them feel you care about them. Knowledge of your product also helps the customer feel like he or she is dealing with an expert.

The subconscious level includes the way you look around, the way you sound and your body language. By paying attention to your mannerisms and your customer’s, you’ll be able to determine his or her state of mind.

In addition, remember that finding similarities and commonalities will help break the ice right away. Voice intonation, attitude and empathizing also come into play when trying to make a customer feel good about walking into your store.

Identify

To connect, identify with customers. See life through their eyes. Understand what needs must be met and what motivates them. How do you do this quickly? Put them at ease with:

• Atmosphere.
• Ambiance.
• Attitude.

What is your store’s atmosphere? Happy? Does your staff get along? Customers will sense tension, so it’s important to resolve conflicts. What’s your store’s ambiance? How does it smell? Are the temperature, lighting and decor comfortable and inviting? What is your staff’s attitude? Humble, helpful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic are ingredients for successful sales.

Sincerity

What’s more important: What you say or how you say it? How you say it wins hands down. There’s a lot you can say to people and make them smile if you say it with the right intonation. And when customers smile, they are more at ease.

Image

What image do you and your staff convey? Does your dress code match your customers’? Are your staff and your store clean and sharp-looking? It’s hard to sell high-end merchandise if the atmosphere reminds you of Pig Pen in the “Peanuts” cartoons.


Review

Here’s a quick review on connecting with customers:

• Greet them within three seconds.
• Greet them with a smile, eye contact and enthusiastic voice.
• Ask open-ended questions.
• Find commonalities.
• Get them to relax.
• Know your product and romance it for each customer.
• Put customers at ease by matching their body language.
• Use a customer’s name frequently.
• Find something you like or respect about the person.

– Michael Thompson


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications