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Holiday Relationships – Focusing on More than the Sale

We are in the throes of the frenzied shopping season, so it seems timely that we remind ourselves of several truths about why we should focus more on customer relationships and less on sales:

  1. People want to be viewed as important and unique. (Jumping into a sales process without taking the time to understand the person, and the wants and needs of the person they are shopping for, is a recipe for a lackluster sale and a commoditized shopping journey).
  2. As chaos ensues in stores, little acts of kindness matter more. (When we are being jostled about in crowded retail environments, the smile and authentic expression of gratitude by another human being – store manager/sales person – are welcomed reminders of the better part of humanity.
  3. People may justify purchases on the basis of benefits and attributes of products but in truth they make purchases through a blend of thoughts and emotions. (Great sales people help customers find the value, delight, and joy derived from their purchases!)
  4. With so much shopping occurring online these days, people need a reason other than “bargains” to come into your business. (Maximize sensory elements – music, seasonal scents, festive lighting and maybe some apple cider – to create an inviting and engaging environment.
  5. Give extra love to your people when it is the busiest!  (I am assuming you treat your people extremely well all year round, given that the experience of people inside a business predicts the experience of customers, but extra TLC of team members is essential fuel to help your staff meet the challenges of serving throngs of customers over and over again through the holiday crunch
  6. Nurture yourself this holiday season. ( I once wrote that it is “not the destination but the journey.” As I age, it seems I am gaining more clarity on the importance of finding happiness on the detours.  In the midst of the craziness, it might me worthwhile to pause in gratitude for having the problems that come with a profitable season.)

Here’s to experiences beyond sales…oops I just spilled my eggnog…

Smoke over black background

Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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