Customer Greetings Create Atmosphere and Sales
article by Jim Hoyle
Hello ! Please make yourself at home.
Good day ! Let me know if I can help you.
Hello ! Do you need any help ?
Good morning ! Can I help you find anything ?
Good afternoon ! What can I help you with today ?
There are some specific things to do and not to do whenever a customer enters
your place of business. And like a good stand up comedian, timing is everything.
How many times have you entered a store, walked through the store and then left
the store without ever being spoken to or acknowledged in any way ? You
certainly leave with an empty feeling about the store and its employees. The
lack of any greeting crosses the line into outright rudeness and loss of
How many times have you entered a store and the clerk or owner was on the
telephone while completely ignoring you ? Why would anyone in their right mind
own or operate a store in this manner ? This is a major No No. Do not ever do
this. If you happen to be on the phone whenever a customer enters, you need to
hang it up within 5 - 10 seconds. The quicker - the better. After greeting the
customer it is fine to proceed with normal telephone conversation. This brings
up another situation. Never enter a place of business while talking on a cell
phone. Common courtesy demands that you be free to greet and to be greeted.
Afterwards it is fine to proceed with cell phone usage ONLY IF YOU THROTTLE YOUR
VOICE SO THAT EVERYONE AROUND IS NOT FORCED TO SHARE YOUR CONVERSATION.
"Good Manners" is the key phrase here. Basically, "Good manners is behavior that
shows respect for and recognizes the rights of others. It eases the stress of
social and physical contact with each other.
Now that we have laid the ground work, let's get specific about customer
1st - When someone first enters your store pretend that a timer starts. You have
ONLY 15 SECONDS to acknowledge the customer and greet them in a respectful and
friendly manner. I strongly suggest some form of the greetings listed at the
beginning of this article.
2nd - Back off and let the customer make the next move. If help is needed, you
have opened the door to that step and the customer can proceed. If not, make
yourself scarce but quickly. Very few shoppers want someone following them
around the store making conversation. This will only interfere and compete with
the products you are trying to sell. Obviously, old friends and closer
acquaintances are exceptions but even in these cases you risk competing with
your product. Use good judgment to determine if your customer comes in to
socialize or to shop or sometimes both. If they come in to shop - disappear
quickly and graciously.
3rd - Do we simply wait for the customer to make the next move ? NO ! The next
step is very critical and can make or break a sale. Follow up with your customer
after 5 minutes but no longer than 10 minutes to let them know you are readily
available. Simply approach the general area where your customer is shopping (not
a close face to face) and restate that you are there if needed. Often if the
customer has any questions, they will begin to bubble up at this point. This is
an excellent time for you to answer questions as well as overcome possible
objections regarding whether the product will be appropriate. It is also the
perfect time to sell positive features of your product.
Do not push ! Just remember the familiar shout common in many of our beautiful
Cajun and southwestern songs "I E E !!!" I E E : Inform - Educate - Explain
Experience and timing is key in determining your next steps. Sometimes it will
make sense to simply ask your customer "Can I get that for you ?" The customer
will lead you from here.