3 mistakes SMEs make about customers

Your business invests so much in getting customers to come through your doors, so you can’t afford to mess it up with something that can be quickly and easily addressed with a little education. The sooner you educate your staff on what not to do, the better.

Picture this: you’ve spent a large part of your budget on an advertising campaign which has performed quite well and has brought customers to your store front.

However, the conversion rate to actual sales is not matching up and there has been little to no repeat business.

My guess is that you or your staff are committing at least one of the following common mistakes that business owners make with customers. I see them occurring in businesses everywhere, daily.

Evaluate your staff's skills and abilities in the following three areas:

Mistake 1 - Giving the best service you possibly can, and more

Say what now?! No, it’s not a typo. Giving full value, and more, is one of those things that sounds great in principle, but are you paying attention to what your customer actually wants?

If you are focused on doing the best you can, you are focused on you and not the customer. So how can you know what they need or want from you?

An eraser rubbing out the word 'MISTAKE'Great service is giving the customer what they want, not what you think they need! You need to be open and receptive to each and every customer every time they walk through your doors.

No two situations or circumstances are the same. You have to be fully present and use your awareness.

What if the customer just wants to browse and be left alone to choose?

Does leaving them alone fit in with your preconceived notion of what good service is?

The best way to stay present is to be with the energy of a question; for example, “What does this customer want today? Who can I be to provide this? What can I do to provide this best? When can I provide this? Where can I provide this?”

Mistake 2 - Pushing energy at the customer

We all know the stereotype of the used car salesman who you just want to run away from the car yard as fast as you can just to get away from them.

There’s really no need to explain the dynamics; everyone just knows what I mean when I say this.

That’s pushing energy at someone. And, you can see the effect – it pushes customers away!

You need to do the opposite. You need to pull energy from them, to you and through you.

This pulls the customers in and it forms a connection between you and them; customers want to interact with you. (Hint: just ask for the energy to pull. You don’t need to do anything; your being does it.)

Mistake 3 - Shutting off energy when a deal is done

The number one mistake business owners make when dealing with customers is that they shut off the energy when they think a transaction is finished.

You need to stay connected with people for ongoing business.

You attract your customers to you by pulling energy, equalise the energy when they are in your place of business through giving them what they want and then continue to send trickles of energy to them once the deal is done, or they leave your shop, or whatever.

This lets them know that you are the source (of whatever it is that they want).

Make change joyfully. If you recognise that either you or your staff make any of the above mistakes, the point is not to judge and criticise, or to feel bad or wrong about it.

This type of thinking never helps. In fact, it will shut off your energy flows and your connection with your customers even further.

Simone Milasas is the founder of Joy of Business, a business help seminar, and a business adviser.

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