Learning to read your customers is vital

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By Matt Bowling

Judging a prospective client on appearance or browsing habits is far too common among sales professionals. Give everyone your best attention regardless of your initial judgement.

Some clients may not want to talk to you at all. For those that do make it easy for them, whether that’s in person, through social media, telephone or email. The important bit is the individual sitting responding to the queries. Have a presence everywhere and respond promptly to any communication you receive.

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Don’t go to all this effort and then ignore the feedback you get. What can you learn from an individual’s previous purchases or enquiries? Do you have an idea what they’re going to be interested in next? If your client feels that you’re tailoring communications to their preferences and behaviour, the likelihood that they will become loyal supporters of your company increases significantly. The reverse is also true.

Loyal customers will return, they are advocates and drivers of your business. Their loyalty is a function of the added value your company delivers with each interaction. At Watchfinder our commitment to solve any watch-related issue helps us build that emotional connection to the client. This may involve research, sourcing items not held in stock, referring clients to other companies, hand-delivering items or a flexible after-sales policy, the list goes on. In essence it’s whatever makes the client’s life easier. Repeat business currently accounts for 30% of Watchfinder’s total sales; the average ticket price is £2,900.

Track the frequency with which cleints return and the motivation. There are lots of ways you can encourage your clients to interact with you. Find out what they liked or disliked about the shopping experience and act on the feedback where appropriate.

In the last 20 years there has been a fundamental shift in power away from the retailer towards the consumer. Today consumers are thinking more about how and where they spend their money. Retailers therefore need to work harder and smarter to first earn and then retain the support of their clients. Those that don’t face an uncertain future.

 

This article was taken from the September 2012 issue of WatchPro magazine. To read a digital version of this issue click here. If you would like to write a guest column for the magazine email the editor rachael.taylor@itp.com with your idea.

 

 

 

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