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Welcome Genuinely

When a good friend visits you, the first reaction should be joy. The second would be pleasure. To truly welcome someone, you need to demonstrate this joy by a simple and very warm welcoming “Good Morning,” for example, much as you would a friend, or someone who is taking his precious time to visit you.

As a second step, I recommend a more formal welcome that identifies and creates a connection for your customer to your brand or boutique. This is a very natural approach. The key is to show your appreciation and pleasure in seeing your customer, as you would a friend: “Welcome to Maison M, Madame.”

Would you ask your good friend why he is coming to see you? It would be impolite, even rude. In reality, however, this very often sales advisors do ask customers why they are visiting: “How can I help you?”

Or worse, they will even ask if the customer wants to make a purchase or not: “Is there anything you have noticed, and how can I help you?”

The customer’s reaction is very often one of self-protection:

“It’s okay.”

“I’m just looking.”

“It’s fine, thank you.”

Golden Rule Corner

Don't ask questions that never bring good answers.

I do not believe that you need to “break the ice.” Quite simply, from the beginning there is no ice to break but only common ground to find. This is what I call a fundamental misunderstanding, as illustrated below (Table 5.3.A):

Table 5.3.A Phase and customer's mindset

Phase

Customer's Mindset

Sales Advisor's Mindset

Decision to enter the store

Let's enter but just to look, not to buy.

A customer is entering. Great—I have to sell.

After entering the store

Let's look first.

Let's see what the customer wants!

Looking at the products

Let's see—there's no harm looking around.

Need to find out what the customer wants to buy so as to not miss the selling time.

Finding an interesting product

Let's check the product—you never know.

The customer has found a product. Need to do a good presentation and sell it.

You remember Paul Morgan? The welcoming process also applies to an office meeting:

Roger. “Good morning, Mr. Morgan!”

Paul Morgan: “Morning, sorry for being late for the appointment.”

Roger: “Thank you for coming to Bank B, it’s great that you made

it.”

Roger. “Mr. Morgan—This is our Good Morning Menu. Please tell

me what would be your choice! By the way, our coffee is particular nice, with quite a large selection.”

Paul: “That’s nice. A coffee and some chocolate cookies would do.

Thank you—I didn’t have time for breakfast this morning.” Paul: “Thank you, I recently received some investment plan proposals and would just like to understand them better.”

Roger: “Certainly, Mr. Morgan, and be assured that my only objective

today is having you fully understand our personal long-term, financial gain solutions.”

Paul: “And, I have to admit that it’s not always easy to

comprehend.”

Roger: “We need to take the necessary time to explain everything. I

really appreciate you coming to see me so that we can have a conversation around the subject!”

To truly welcome a customer, forget about selling. The best way to “break the ice” is to not have any ice—the buying obligation. You need to acknowledge that a customer entering the store is not necessarily coming in to buy (at least initially). And as a method of self-protection, a customer rarely comes in with the decision to buy today. Instead of having that too quick and immediate selling objective (when you have this, the customer can feel it and, with reason, will be even more cautious), enjoy the pleasure of the encounter.

Golden Rule Corner

To truly welcome a customer, do it genuinely. Forget about the sales for the moment and enjoy the encounter.

 
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