Establishing strong, long-term customer relationships is critical to the overall health of your business. Not only do happy customers become repeat customers, but they are also your best sales people. Here’s how to build lasting connections:

  1. Be adaptable. No two people are the same. Be ready and willing to recognize their differences and alter your approach accordingly.
  2. Don a “yes” smile. A smile creates an involuntary positive response in your customer and will automatically be reflected in your own voice as well.
  3. Use their name. Ask their name and then use it several times in the conversation. People are conditioned to feel warmth and connection when they hear their name spoken.
  4. Give them your full attention. Don’t allow distractions to subvert your focus. Show you’re actively listening.
  5. Mirror their style. Pay attention to their body language and the tone/tempo of their voice. Matching these will deepen your level of connection.
  6. Perceiving the unasked questions. Look beyond the initial question for larger underlying questions. Addressing these before they’re even mentioned demonstrates your genuine interest in the customer.
  7. Mention a personal connection. Find something you have in common and comment on it. It’s easier to connect with someone when you feel you have things in common.
  8. Take the hit. If they are upset, let them vent without interrupting. Only then acknowledge their frustration and point to a solution.
  9. Over-deliver. Look for ways to go above and beyond. Performing some unexpected nicety goes a long way.
  10. Be consistent. Follow through builds their trust that you will deliver every time, not just when it’s convenient.

By Leticia Stryker