By Brett MeadsVASA VP
Hi, my name is Brett. Thanks for taking the time to read my column – I really appreciate it. I hope you find it useful.
Let me be clear on two things. Firstly, on a bang-for-your-buck scale, nothing beats introducing yourself. Secondly, most people just won’t do it.
Specifically, I am talking about relationships with your customers, however the principle holds true in all walks of life. It’s all about trust.
Allow me to explain.
Let us suppose that you own or work in a business that provides goods or services that satisfy a consumer need.
In exchange for these goods or services you are paid a fee. So far, so good.
Like most enterprises you have an appropriate place to conduct business, you have trained and capable staff, and you have just the right goods or services that your customers are looking for.
You may have even ticked some other boxes. Clean work place, easy access, nice reception area, certificates on display – you know the drill. The more courageous may have invested heavily in a social media presence as well.
The real question is: do you have the trust of your customer?
Although businesses can suffer when they don’t meet the needs of their customers, many more fail simply due to a lack of consumer trust.
Trust can make up for other shortcomings, but nothing about your business can make up for a lack of trust.
Here is my number one tip for building trust. It is so simple you will think I am crazy, yet most of you don’t do it.
It will cost you nothing, and you can start today.
Introduce yourself. It is that easy. Here is the basic recipe.
Smile (please smile) and greet your customer – “Hi, welcome.”
Introduce yourself – “Hi, welcome. My name is Sam.” Clearly, use your name if you are not Sam.
Reach out and shake their hand. Please, don’t be shy, reach out and shake their hand.
If you have followed the recipe so far and are genuine in your greeting, then some magic is about to happen. Once you have introduced yourself by name – “My name is Sam” – in almost all cases your customer will respond with their name – “Hello, I’m Sue.”
I can’t stress this enough – commit their name to memory and use it in Step 4:
“Pleased to meet you Sue, how may I help you today?”
I cannot quantify the amount of trust this five second introduction can build. If you don’t believe me then try it for yourself.
No matter the age or gender, try it with every customer that walks through your door. Then track conversion rates, referral rates, and retention rates, for these are the fruits of consumer trust.
The way you introduce yourself to your customers is the easiest and most cost-effective positive change you can make to your work day.
It builds trust in no time, and it lays a foundation that allows you to do your job to satisfy your customers’ needs in exchange for a fee.
You would think everybody would be doing it.