Have you stepped into a store and find sales assistants tagging behind you asking “can I help you” and not allowing you to shop in peace? Or have you gone online and have people stalking you and hoping there will be a business relationship?
Unfortunately, harassing someone to close a deal or to create a business relationship is just not smart or good business. It is the surefire way to lose a potential deal, annoy a prospect, and chase away people.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to salesmanship, closing business deals, handling objections, or even business networking. In fact, throw a stone and you probably hit someone who is an expert in one of these areas, whether he is a practitioner or a coach of some kind.
Let me present some insights based on field experience as well as more than 25 years of developing human capital.
In a shop, if I am a sales assistant, I would give a little time for visitors to get comfortable and very much into my shop first. I would be genuinely happy to see the visitors, and introduce myself:
“Hi, I am ABC, and I am a sales assistant with XYZ Shop. Please take your time to browse and try out the products in the shop. If you need me at any time, whether to explain the product features, or promotions, I will be at this corner. Thank you so much for visiting us!”
And then, allow the visitors to take their time. Be respectful of their personal space, and their desires to browse, to try the products on display, or when they are keen, to chat with us. By then, they are interested prospects.
And online? The art of social networking is simple. Would you dare harass someone in real life and stalk them around? Strict laws aside, it is just bad manners. And nobody likes to associate with someone who harasses or bullies another. Everyone desires… a friend.
This brings to mind the very cool and very ancient art of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. In those days, when there is a problem to be resolved, the tribe would gather round a fire, and there will be a facilitator of some kind. Nobody would disrespect another in this problem-solving scenario, and every person who has something to contribute, will air his views. At the end, the facilitator, who does not assert control, will gather all views, and find the best possible way to resolve the problem together. The tribe and the facilitator will abide by the decision of the group, and trust the outcomes – no matter what the outcomes may be. How the indigenous peoples of the Americas did it so long time ago, can also be found in conciliatory and collaborative work environments in corporations today, and certainly, can be applied to customer service and business networking scenarios easily as well.
The next time your people are found breathing down the necks of potential customers and business associates, pull them back, and give people some space. Everyone likes space, and the freedom. With a relaxed mind, you may forge friendships, which are more valuable than just a single business deal. The world, after all, is small these days.
PS – If you like to develop your salespeople, your frontline service crew, and your leaders, let us know. We will be more delighted to work with you. Contact us today!
Dr Seamus Phan is the Head of Content and CTO at McGallen & Bolden. He is an expert in branding, marketing, communication, leadership training, crisis management, and entrepreneurship. This article may appear concurrently on his blog. Connect on LinkedIn. ©1984-2018 Seamus Phan et al. All rights reserved.