Have you ever liked a business and their product, been just about ready to buy, and then been turned off by an overly pushy salesperson? Maybe you ended up buying from someplace else, just because the salesperson treated you like a walking credit card rather than a human. We are not against salespeople who aggressively pursue the sale–not at all. But sometimes small business owners overlook the fact that the customer needs a chance to relax and think through a decision.
We’ve all had the pleasure of experiencing a truly fine waitress. The good waitress satisfies the customer’s basic needs: ensuring the table has drinks, checks if customers want an appetizer, enumerates the specials–and then allows you the time you need to make a decision. If she needs to come back, she does. If she needs to circle back to your table twice, she’ll do so.
The best waitress allows the customer to process the information.
Does your business permit customers sufficient time to make a buying decision they are comfortable with? Or is there a not-so-subtle pressure by your staff to get them out of the way so staff can return to the task at hand: stocking shelves, maybe, or chatting with a co-worker. This process can be nearly invisible but your clients/customers will instantly pick up on it.
There’s a world of difference between a waitress who comes by to take your order and waits respectfully while you decide on what you want and the waitress who taps her foot or her pencil against her order pad. She’s subtly communicating to you she’s got better things to do at the moment than help you.
So maybe you speed up your decision, or you ask her to come back, but deep down you feel pressure. And you remember; even if the steak she later delivers to you is fantastic, you remember.
Is your business doing this? Chances are at some point it is. The suggestion in this article is to find out how and when your staff is applying undo pressure to your customer.
Ask the Achievers on your team to help you determine how to find out. Then, brainstorm with them on how to fix the problem. Just remember, a little courtesy toward staff as you investigate and create solutions goes a long way.
Oh, and that waitress that’s antsy and causing those customers to feel pressured? At least half the time the source of her stress is her boss, wanting her to hurry up and get the food to some other table. Don’t doubly punish her; uncover the other pressures that she’s under, and set the whole process right. Just a little bit of diplomacy and training goes a long way.