Black Friday and the December holidays are quick approaching, which means you are busy, busy, busy for a couple of months. As most people seem to be rather stressed at this time, it helps if you go out of your way to be patient, polite and professional with all your customers. Here are a few tips that may help in the busy times.

The Customer May Be Wrong – However, if you have to tell them so, do it in a pleasant way.

Ask Questions – If you know what your customer wants, you are better able to meet their needs quickly and accurately.

Understand the Customers Make Buying Decisions Emotionally – It is easier to think that buying is an intellectual process, though the actual decision is made through the emotions.

Listen More Than You Speak – Let the customer do most of the talking. Try not to interrupt, as it will take longer to get to the root of the request or concern.

Customers Should Feel Appreciated – Customers are happier if they feel important, liked and right. If you can manage all three that is fantastic, though any one of the three will help.

Saying Yes Has Great Power – When you can say yes to customers, even when the request is simple, the customer feels as if s/he is important to you. Sometimes you have to say no. At those times, find an alternate solution.

Give More Than Is Expected – When you go that extra mile (or even an inch) you receive in return the appreciation of the customer. This means the customer is more willing to buy your products.

Promise Only What You Can Deliver – Don’t overpromise. Better to let customers know if you can’t meet their expectations. However, promise that you will do everything you can to make it happen.

Apologize – An apology goes a long way to keeping a customer happy, even if you are not at fault.

  • “I am so sorry this happened, let me see what I can do.”
  • “I don’t think we can have it (the requested item) to you by Monday, but we will ship it to you as soon as it comes in.”

Don’t Forget to Smile – Your smile helps smooth any transaction. So, keep smiling and mean it. Even when you don’t feel like it.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.