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  • Developing a Servant's Heart, Part 2

    Based on conversations with your customer, select three key products to show the customer.

    Help each customer evaluate the products.

    The worst mistake you could make is to simply fall silent or walk away after showing three key products. Most of the merchandise you sell has features and benefits that are unknown to the customer. Your role is that of the valet helping his gentleman find the perfect outfit.

    Walk the customer through the evaluation process. For example, with flowers, you should mention particular varieties that are suitable and state why. With gifts, show them the item and point out benefits that address their needs.

    Expect objections to your suggestions.

    Often customers will find your initial suggestions unacceptable. Before you move on to the next product, take a moment (as the customer allows) to find out what didn't hit the mark. Just make sure you don't offend the customer in the process.

    Take time to write down specific objections customers have had to purchasing merchandise. Gather written objections from other employees and together work out responses to the most common ones.

    Always stress the benefit of your products.

    Too many needs are left unmet because the salesperson didn't clearly explain the features and benefits of the products.

    All of the interaction during the sales process serves to illustrate more clearly the customer's needs. Listen to feedback. Respond with appropriate suggestions based on the new information. Maintain an ongoing dialogue with customers that leaves no stone unturned.

    Respect each customer's decision.

    Your role is to advise and guide your patrons but they are the decision-makers. Once an option is selected, take every opportunity to reinforce the good selection made. You can find something positive to say about every item in your shop.

    In those instances where the customer does not take your suggestion, honor their choice as the best alternative for them. After all, you may not have the complete pictures of their needs, even with careful assessment.

    Thank every customer for giving you the opportunity to serve them.

    Your shop's success comes down to the individual interaction between you and each customer every minute of every day. Gratefulness is contagious.

    If you genuinely recognize that you would not have a job if this customer didn't call or come into your shop, then you can express sincere gratitude for the transaction. The more enthusiastically you offer your thankfulness, the more you will find customers returning the attitude. They may even thank you for helping them!

    Servanthood doesn't come naturally. We would all rather be served. But you are on the front lines of retail, extolling the features and benefits of beautiful merchandise. And the more you can display the attitude of a servant, the more likely you are to achieve success.

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