What do people want when they come into your place of business or contact you? What makes them choose your product over someone else’s? The specific answer to those questions can only come from your satisfied clients. However, I can address the general answers to help you get started on acquiring satisfied clients in the first place.

We all want the same things when doing business. We want quality products and good service at a low investment. That’s the bottom line. Is that what you provide? If so, shout it from the rooftops! Few companies can provide all three. With that being the case, you will need to learn how to address which of the three you don’t provide.

If you provide quality and service, but not at the lowest investment, your service better be exceptional. There is a perceived value for excellent service. People actually don’t mind spending a little more money for something if they feel the service is great. If you aren’t sure about that, think about the last time you left a tip at a restaurant.

Learn how to ooze quality and service. This begins with their first impression of your business whether it’s in person, over the telephone or on your web site. Everything should be first class.

Begin by dressing appropriately for the type of product you sell. Then, have everyone who works for you do the same. Develop your business “voice.” How you say what you say is critically important. Your website should be clean and clear of clutter, just as your physical location should be. Both should be easy to navigate. People just won’t make buying decisions if they’re not comfortable.

The key to service is to truly understand the meaning of it, which is “to serve.” You must humble yourself as a servant in order to make others feel important. When they feel important, they will listen to you with sincerity and respect as you explain your offering or demonstrate your product.

How do you make others feel important? With eye contact. A welcoming smile. If you meet potential clients over the telephone, be sure to smile and use a warm and friendly tone of voice. Believe it or not, people can tell if you’re smiling, distracted, bored or unhappy whether they can see your face or not. They can tell simply by the tone of your voice.

Introduce yourself and let them know “I’m here for you.” Good old-fashioned courtesy goes a long way. If your business involves getting to know people by name (and it should, no matter the type of business), always call them by Mr. or Ms. if they give you their last name. Don’t get too friendly too soon by calling them by their first names. That can put people off, which is the last thing you want to do. If they only give you their first name, then use it but not so often that they wonder if you are memory-challenged.

Rather than jumping right in to tell people about your store, your product, or your service, ask what made them contact you. What was it that made them call you just then? In retail situations, this question is so much better than “How may I help you?” because people won’t have an automatic response with the word “no.” Now, be careful not to ask, “What are you looking for?” That’s too abrupt. “What brought you to Acme Service Center today?” Or, “What was it that prompted your call today?” You want to get inside their heads to find out what they really want, what they really need before you try to sell them anything.

Once you know the general direction of their needs, you can then ask them additional questions about their likes and dislikes to help narrow their focus from everything you have to offer to the one particular product or service that will best suit their needs. And helping people make decisions that are truly good for them is the foundation of true success in business.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Hopkins has trained over 5 million sales professionals on 5 continents. Download a free MP3 of his formula to quickly qualify potential buyers here: http://www.tomhopkins.com/salesacademy. The MP3 link is halfway down the page.