As a salesman and one who works with the public, I have encountered countless customer service situations and had mixed results. There are times when a customer has left the encounter displeased and times when a customer has been appreciative and leaves more loyal to the business than before. The skills I developed in the workplace directly translated to my day-to-day life experiences in the way of communication.
Communication is the salesman’s ultimate tool, but I have found that this skill leaves the sales floor and enters my relationships in a powerful way. I will show you some practical ways that one can improve relationships by using tried and true sales and customer service techniques.
Every customer I have ever helped appreciates honesty. There are few people in this world who prefer a sales pitch to an informative statement about the product. In life, people would rather know something that tells them about you than a clever pitch about why you should be in their life. I can say honestly after multiple botched attempts with women that honesty is an important factor in a healthy relationship. In my latest romantic relationship, I have made honesty a priority, and the dividends have been truly amazing. Remember, honestly leads to trust, and trust is the gate to healthy and effective communication.
In a world where one is bombarded by media and information, the natural tendency is to block out information that we do not want or need. It is easy to simply disregard something if it is not relevant to you. Within a friendship or courtship, one will soon find the value of mutual interests. When someone shares the same passions as you, it is much easier to relate to that person on a conversational level. This is important because more relationships start with some type of conversation. In sales, I always try to discern a practical benefit the product could have for the customer. If the product does not benefit the customer, they will not be pleased with it, which will reduce the chances of them going back to your business. Likewise, if someone does not share any interest with you, they will not be likely to peruse further relations.
I cannot stress enough the importance of relating to people within a confrontation or casual encounter. Once in my workplace, a customer had been charged $100 more than she should have and was understandably upset. To confront this, I adopted a passive and troubled facial expression that was genuine and tried to think how I would have felt in her situation. The customer was very appreciative of my understanding and my willingness to help. This principle is one that you can use every day. If someone is clearly sad, alter your communication to fit the situation. By doing so, you will also be communicating more relevantly to this person.
You are not going to be successful in every life or sales encounter, and if certain approaches are not working, try something new. Also, if someone gives you information about him or her, utilize it in a way that will help you relate to him or her. Sometimes you will be forced to improvise, but this can be a great opportunity to learn and improve your communication skills – do not put yourself in a box.
Lastly, have fun! Communicating is one of the great joys in life and will open up doors you may have never expected.