Are you welcoming your clients?

two people drinking tea

Last month I was walking around when I found a nice store offering only fairtrade products. I passed in front sometimes before I actually decide to enter. I was very curious to see every product and to learn more about that business. I was very excited to talk to the staff and ask some questions. 

When I got in, I felt really disappointed. Not because the products aren’t great, but because of the person who was there. The store was totally empty, some people stopped to look from the outside but nobody entered. When I opened the door, the woman just said “Good Morning” behind a balcony far away from me, at the end of the store. Yes, just it. She didn’t even bother saying “Welcome” or “Do you need any help?” “Are you looking for something”.
Anyway, I walked around, taking a good look at each product, price and packaging. I was really appreciating the store. The girl stayed there, like if I was invisible. I paid attention to each product, every detail, even tested some of them in a totally silent environment. 
When I was almost finishing and leaving, I decided to give her a try. I asked:
-Are those products all made in Italy?
She answered  Yes, all the foods are, but the handmade ones are made in foreign countries.
She returned doing her stuff, no more contact eye or interest in me.
I said “Thanks” and left.
The only sustainable business in the neighbourhood and they didn’t even try to welcome me. 
Maybe she is convinced that the products are the best and they don’t need a person to sell them? Maybe she is not sold to the brand she represents? I don’t know.
What I know is that this place is very special and it should be represented by people who cares and believes in it. Especially someone that cares about people because we are talking about a fair trade business.
At the same time, when I enter into a luxury brands mall – I just enter to use the toilet or test the products I’m very welcomed with people smiling at me and asking if I need any help.
I just wanted to leave this simple message, let’s welcome people well and make them part of the experience.

How to welcome your clients properly?

First of all, you need to take care of your staff, they are your brand’s soul

  • Merge your staff into the brand, not only explaining each product but allowing them to try and to use in their home;
  • Turn your staff part of the brand, make them feel really representatives, believing in what they sell;
  • Make your staff comfortable, not feeling shy or insecure to talk friendly to the costumers;
  • Teach them a speech to make it easy to explain the brand origins, suppliers, production;
  • Allow them to ask questions, make suggestions and report what they found wrong.

Now you have your staff immersed into your brand, it’s the perfect time to receive clients

  • Always have someone on the front door to welcome every person who enters in your place;
  • Smile, be polite, ask if they are looking for something special;
  • Let them be free to look and walk around, but be available if they need;
  • Observe what they are looking for and their reactions, it can be an opportunity to start a chat;
  • Talk to them as a friend, making them feel comfortable to talk, ask questions and express their feelings;
  • If the conversation evolves, suggest products that match their lifestyle;
  • Either if the customer bought something or not, be thankful and say goodbye – it could turn into another visit, a review or a recommendation.

I hope this helps you somehow with your brand. Now I want to know about you.
Are you a friendly business? How do you welcome your audience?

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