Sweet Tale of Sales & Service

A window shopper wandered into a gourmet chocolate store with no intention of making a purchase. What transpired was unexpected.

Within seconds of her entrance she was met with a sincere greeting, immediately transporting her towards a positive company experience. Cassandra, the company associate, possessed a warm smile and a genuine eagerness. After her cheerful hello, she shared the store’s daily events and then tempted the taste buds by gesturing in the direction of the product samples. The visitor was encouraged to casually acquaint herself with the shop.

Cassandra was controlled and professional yet her enthusiasm was evident. She welcomed the visitor just as she would have welcomed an invited guest into her home. As additional patrons entered the store Cassandra did not fail to acknowledge them with a smile or nod even when she was busy with other buyers. The result: the potential clients felt validated and appreciated versus unimportant and invisible. Acknowledging is a must.

As the visitor comfortably perused the shelves Cassandra effortlessly kept a keen eye to see if and when it would be appropriate to follow-up. She then did what any attentive associate should do. When observing that the customer might be overwhelmed with the variety of different products, Cassandra approached her to offer assistance. She also used the opportunity to gently demonstrate care by asking questions. Cassandra uncovered the visitor’s overall level of interest, likes, and dislikes.

Cassandra made it a point to listen to the visitor’s answers. Her responses were personalized. They were sprinkled with the relevant product information, material that would be of interest based on what was heard. Cassandra was only able to do this because she had created a connection, truly listened, and fully understood her product knowledge. She created trust.

Cassandra’s passion for her product and her job were palpable. It permeated the store. She exuded a genuine friendliness with a gentle persistence ensuring the visitor was properly informed. Conversations were appropriate and respectful. Cassandra possessed a sincere curiosity for what the potential client may or may not have been interested in. Her listening skills were sharp and her responses were clearly tailored.

The visitor walked out the door with a bag full of decadent chocolate, leaving both literally and figuratively with a great taste in her mouth. She will not soon forget the encounter and the association with the product.

Why can one employee, like Cassandra, create an amazing experience promoting a positive lasting impression of a company and yet another employee leave a client with an encounter they would soon wish to forget? Amazingly, all employees received the same training at the same company on the same product.

Raise the chances of achieving increased affirmative customer experiences. Tip the scales to boost your revenue and profit potential. Managers can increase their success rate of hiring staff that reflects behavior demonstrated by Cassandra. How? One way to ensure consistency is to focus on what transpires during the interview.

When connecting with people ask yourself, “is this someone who could support our product, our company?” Listen and look for signs which demonstrate enthusiasm and a genuine interest. Observe listening skills, does the person answer the question you asked? Do they possess passion? There is great value in executing one’s passion for what they do. Walt Disney said it best, “Act as if what you do matters, it does.”

This scenario fits most any type of of company or encounter. When staffing for a position which interacts with the public ensure the odds lean in favor of hiring more people like Cassandra. Look and listen for traits exhibiting:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Passion
  • Friendliness
  • A gentle persistence
  • Curiosity/Interest
  • Listening skills
  • Engagement

The interview is one area to work towards improved outcomes related to building a successful team. Proper training is another. Below, find some tips on how to conduct an effective training session:

  • Make the learning environment pleasant
  • Clearly share the training objective
  • Keep the training concise and on point
  • Use a conversational style
  • Create an interactive environment
  • Ensure employees understand expectations
  • Act as if you expect questions: ask, “What questions can I answer for you”
  • Model the behavior you expect
  • Check for understanding throughout the training and recalibrate accordingly
  • Underscore how employees can directly impact business results
  • Recap and review key points throughout
  • Ask for feedback on the training
  • Promote continuous improvement and ongoing development
  • Ensure there is post-training follow-up in place to evaluate and impact effectiveness

Good luck!