There’s no amount of hypnosis, witchcraft, or wizardry you can perform that will make people want to do business with you.
I mean, I’ve never actually tried any of those, but I’m assuming there are much easier methods.
Start by thinking about what you look for in a business, and hold yourself to the same standards.
People want to do business with people they like. It’s really that simple. Just as people form loyalty to brands that they stick with their whole lives, they also form loyalty to businesses, and it’s almost always due to the people they’ve connected with.
Heck, I knew someone who relocated to another state just to be closer to her hairdresser when she moved. And that’s exactly the sort of following you should strive for with your customers.
And truthfully, being likable really doesn’t take all that much effort. Think about what your friends like about you. Are you honest? Trustworthy? Generous? Would you stop whatever it is you’re doing to help someone in need? These are all qualities that people will factor into their decision to do business with you.
Don’t think of it like having two separate personalities – your business personality and your “real life” personality. The fact of the matter is, you only have one personality, and there are many people who already love you for it, so let that shine through.
Keep in mind, your customers want to engage with another human, not a sales robot, so talk to them like you would someone you’re familiar with, and remember, if you’re comfortable interacting with them, you can make them feel comfortable and confident about working with you.
Be an Expert
Did you ever walk into a store and ask a salesperson about a product that they knew nothing about? Chances are, you weren’t too confident about making a purchase there, and you probably decided to move on and look elsewhere.
Well, your customers want exactly the same thing – to do business with a company they can trust. And you can build this trust by being an expert in your field.
Expertise really comes down to two things – knowledge and experience. Experience is something that comes with time, but knowledge is something you should always be striving for.
In order to keep growing your customer base and improving your business, you need to constantly educate yourself by whatever means possible; stay current on industry news, read tutorials, take classes, and conduct market research to study the behavior of your competitors. You can then share the knowledge you’ve gained with your customers via blog posts or other helpful content, providing personalized recommendations so that people will get to know, like, and trust you.
People who like to take risks can do so at the casino or the amusement park – not by deciding to work with your company. No one wants to feel like doing business with you is a sacrifice or a risky proposition. They want to feel confident that you’ll live up to their expectations as advertised, and with the smallest margin for error.
In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, studies from Columbia’s Motivation Science Center have shown that people “seek reliability over ‘coolness’ or luxury in products, and prefer conservative investments to higher-yielding but less certain ones.”
So don’t concern yourself about being the most innovative or fanciest choice; just focus on being the safest one.
You know those people who are always telling you about all of the things they’re going to do one day as soon as they have the time, money, ability, etc.? And then they never seem to get around to them?
Lack of follow through has been the end of many a business relationship. It completely breaks the trust you’re trying to establish, and makes you appear incapable and unprofessional.
You’re always better off under-promising and over-delivering than the other way around. That way, your customers will always be pleasantly surprised by the quality of service you deliver, as opposed to being disappointed that you didn’t provide them what they were expecting.
Remember, your word is your bond. By consistently providing what you promise, your customers will grow to trust you and know what they can expect from you in the future.
Delight Your Customers
We talked recently about the importance of customer delight in fostering positive business relationships. This can be anything from remembering a personal fact about a customer from a previous conversation, suggesting a new product or service you think they might like based on their interests, or offering a special promotion to show you appreciate their business.
These little touches can turn your customers into brand ambassadors and evangelists for your business, who will spread the word about what a positive experience they had from interacting with you and get new prospects just as excited.
Just remember to be the person on the other side of the table that you want to work with, and the customers will follow – no magic spells required.