You often hear people talk about ‘thinking before you speak’…specially related to thoughtless comments, incorrect assumptions or not thinking through things before commenting. In fact one of my favourite sayings is “Put your brain in gear before you open your mouth”.
Customer facing staff are particularly vulnerable. A while ago I found a notice posted on the communication board in an administration office spelling out the value of ‘Thinking before you speak’.
- T – Is it True? Always be certain that product or service information given out is correct. In your customers eyes you are the expert. Make sure what you are about to say is true and not market gossip. Many business and personal relationships are damaged, some irreparably, by untrue comments. If the information is found to be incorrect or untrue then you will lose face in your customers eyes and be considered unreliable.
- H – Is it Helpful? If the information you pass on is helpful to your customer it will hold their attention and build trust. It will also increase your expert power with your customer, making you a person they want to talk to.
- I – Is it Inspiring? We always want to spend time with people that inspire us. Your customers are no different. Look for ways to inspire them to improve their business.
- N – Is it Necessary? Your customers are always busy so don’t waste their time with unnecessary or irrelevant information. They will quickly get distracted and move on to the next issue or sales person. If you do this regularly customers will start avoiding you.
- K – Is it Kind? Never say bad things about your opposition. There is a real danger that the negativity will rub off on you or your product.