The Business Edge Blog

January 22, 2013

How to Engage in Conversation with Your Customers

love customers

How to Engage in Conversation with Your Customers

We know that it is important to build a relationship with our clients and customers.  People do business with people they Know, Like and Trust – the KLT factor.  People also feel better doing business with people that care about them.

Clients have asked me to help their new employees, sales people and service people learn a few new tips to break the ice and engage customers in conversation.  After our workshops I follow up and ask what new approaches worked well for them.  A few that work well for many types of businesses include:

1.  Ask a Different Question – (other than “May I help you”)

“How are you today?”, ” What brings you here today?”,  “What is on your schedule today besides this?”

Cautions:   Be prepared to participate in the conversation, not just fire question after question.  Don’t press for more if their responses are short.  You still get points for trying.

2.  Extend a Compliment –

If appropriate, comment on how cute a child looks or how well behaved they are.  Extend a compliment on something that looks attractive – purse/briefcase, phone cover, glasses, shoes.  If you are in their home, find something to compliment them on.

Caution:  Avoid coming across as someone in dating mode.  Stay professional.

3.  Use a surrounding object as an anchor –

If you notice the car they drive, ask how they enjoy owning that model of car.  If they are carrying a shopping bag from a store, ask if they enjoyed shopping there.

4.  Ask for their help or advice –

Ask if they have tried a restaurant you’re curious about.  Ask for their input on something you’re working on like determining a great spot for a vacation.

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Please share what works well in your business. I look forward to hearing from you.  You can email me at coach@thebizedge.biz or join the discussion below.

Until next time – Remember to mind your business!

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December 13, 2011

Goal Setting for Success in 2012

Step #1 Defining Success –

One of the key things that I find helps determine success for my clients as they head into the new year is a clear plan.  Don’t get scared off – I am not going to ask you to create a formal business plan – I’ll save that for a later post.

First I’ll ask you to fast forward in your mind to December 31st 2012.  If we were sitting together on that day, what would you say that would convince me that 2012 was a success for your business?  Is it the number of new clients?  Is it the end of year income statement?  Is it being able to take time off while the business keeps running?

Step #2 Focus on Success –

Once there is a definition of what “success” for 2012 will look like, we have a place to focus throughout 2012.  How can the goal be broken down into milestones throughout the year?  Let’s say the goal is to gain 52 new clients.  Using simple math, that would mean adding 13 new clients a quarter.  Now we have a yardstick to know if we’re on target or not.  Every quarter, take a count.  Is what we’re doing working, or do we need to try new tactics to reach the 52 mark by December 31st 2012?

If we need 13 new clients every quarter to get to 52, and there are 52 weeks in a year, we can work on gaining 1 new client a week.  How many people do we have to reach to create 1 new client?  If the closure rate is 1:1 or 100%, then we only need to talk to 1 new person a week.  If the closure rate is 25%, then we need to make sure systems are in place to connect with 4 people a week to lead to signing on 1 as a new client.  What strategies are in place to get you in front of those 4 new people every week?  Are you doing public speaking, presenting educational nuggets in person?  Are you blogging?  Are you faithfully networking in places where your ideal clients will be found so that you can increase the closure rate?  On December 31st 2012 it will be the things you put in place now and throughout the year that will make the success measureable with those 52 new clients!

Or….if your goal is to be able to step away from the business every once in a while without affecting the success, try it in small bites.  If you’re gone for an afternoon what comes up?  Can you develop systems to address that issue and issues like it so that they don’t require your personal involvement?  Get the systems in place and try being gone again.  Keep increasing the time away and quickly create systems to deal with the issues that come up.  By December 31st you may be on a beach with your business successfully running back home!

Share with us your vision of success on December 31st, 2012.  I look forward to seeing your business grow!

July 27, 2010

The Top 5 Benefits of Working With a Business Coach

A popular question prospects ask when considering hiring a business coach is…..”What will I get from working with you?” 

The following Top 5 Benefits are taken directly from comments made by my clients on what they have received from coaching together.

First – Clarity.  We take the time to create an image of your ideal business situation.  Who is your ideal client?  How many do you need?  Where can you find them?  Once things are defined we know where we are going.  It’s not just putting out fires and working hard each day, it’s working toward something we can envision.

Second – Values.  What are your values?  Can you actually write them down? The most successful business owners incorporate their values throughout all they do, including their business interactions.  Once you articulate your values you can instill them in your business and if you have employees, ensure they conduct business the way you would.    

Third – Goal Setting.  What are your goals?  Are they to grow your business, improve profits, or ready your business for sale as your exit strategy?  Once you know your goals, you know where to focus.    

Fourth – Milestones.  How do you get from where your business is today to where you’d like it to be?  In achieving most goals there are steps to take along the way.  These are called Milestones.  They are the stepping stones to get to the ultimate goal.  When you know the next milestone, you know more preciously where to step when options, distractions and detours are placed in front of you.

Fifth – Balance.  My clients tell me they acheive better Balance in their work and in their life.  I can see they are less stressed.  They know what they want to achieve, they know what their values are which guide them in their decision making, they have set goals, they know the next step to take, and they sleep better.  Priorities are in line.  I see them relax and enjoy work and life more.

Do any of these resonate with you?  I’d be happy to talk to you about your issues and how business coaching may be a benefit.

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