Why do you want better communication and more influence?
For your business to thrive, every member of your team across all customer touch points must be able to communicate and influence effectively.
This is easier said than done as most staff members are not provided with the training, tools, or effective models for interacting with customers. Most would say they do what they do, and are figuring it out as they go along.
However, it is imperative that good communication is instilled as a cultural value in the organisation as 78% of the buying decision is influenced by the person serving you! This is a proven statistic derived from The Loyalty Zone’s work.
Ultimately, your business will benefit from better communication and influence with more:
• Customer trust and loyalty
• Win-win outcomes
• Repeat transactions and higher average dollar sales
With this said, lets look at seven ways you can improve your communication and influence with customers.
1. Eye contact
This is one of the easiest ways to stand out. In fact, eye contact is the most powerful way we communicate as human beings. Using eye contact in the critical customer touch points will greatly impact your degree of confidence and authenticity. Your eyes say a lot about your character, attitudes, honesty, and overall outlook on life.
2. Remember to smile
If you want to communicate friendliness and positivity, you must let your pearly whites shine. A genuine smile has an immediate impact on people’s moods and opinions about staff. It can light up a room and build rapport in an instant. It can help influence your ‘like-ability’ with customers. Our Net Promoter Research concludes time and time again that loyal customers always speak highly of smiling staff which is often the number one factor in coming across as friendly.
3. Remember names
Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, talks about the power of using people’s names. When you use someone’s name, you get their immediate attention. It also shows that you care enough to remember. It’s a way of building stronger relationships, especially if you use customer’s name upon their return. This will require a good system in place. It also pays to use your own name in your customer interactions. If you want a stronger link with customers, remember and use their name.
4. Show you understand
A universal need all humans have is to be understood. We crave it. So when you show a customer that you understand where they’re coming from, it helps overcome objections, complaints, and improves your ability to convert more sales. This begins with listening to the strongest, basic message of your customers and repeating back in a similar way. The more you reflect back the needs of your customers, the better you chances you have in building trust in your communications. It also reduces the chances of misunderstanding.
5. Use descriptive words
There is a saying that goes like this: “Words create worlds”. This is especially true when talking about your products and services. Often the difference between engagement and boredom is using the right descriptive words. For example, if you want to create interest and anticipation in a customer for a meal, use descriptive words to talk about the food and it’s taste. Words like great; tasty; moist; rich; tender; delicious; beautiful, and so on, elevates the feelings that people have towards a meal. At the end of the day, we all make decisions based on emotions, and the way to trigger positive emotions with your customers is to use the right descriptive words.
6. Use ‘Suggestapedia’
This is the number one way you can improve your average dollar sale. It’s called ‘Suggestapedia’. Your job as a salesperson is to suggest ideas, options, specials, upgrades, information, that your customers were not aware of. Making suggestions is like planting seeds; the more you sow, the more you will reap. These suggestions need to be relevant obviously and done with the proper spirit of adding value to a customers purchase. The idea is weaving suggestions into your conversation without being pushy, and gauging the level of openness from the customer. Done correctly, your customers will find you to be helpful.
7. The law of Scarcity
The final way to help motivate action is to create a sense of scarcity. Again, this must be done ethically to create motivation for customers to take the plunge and try your offer and buy your product. In working with one of our clients in the hospitality industry, our aim was to sell 21 pies in a night. When there was one left, what do you think our floor staff did? They announced to the people waiting in line that there was one home-made pie left. This created friendly banter amongst the customers, and all the pies were sold.
Honest, clear communication is the number one way to influence your customers to return and promote you to their friends. How have you used these principles in your own business?