Good Customer Service: Listen to what the customer says.

customer-listen-fb-ThinkstockPhotos-122578149.jpgWhat a customer wants and what he needs are often two different things. The task of a sales professional is to determine which is more important. Marshall Field was famous for running his department stores under the motto “The customer is always right.” Even if the customer wants the wrong item for his needs, according to this philosophy, it is better to keep him happy by giving him what he wants. When a customer has no preference, it is up to the sales professional to gently discover the customer’s true needs and demonstrate how the correct item satisfies those needs.

Listen to what the customer says. The customer will tell you whether she is looking to fulfill a want or a need by the way she approaches the purchase. If she immediately states what she wants, that is what she intends to buy. If she appears indecisive, that is when you ask about the intended use, which helps you to determine what she needs. Build a relationship, however short, with the customer.


The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “How to Know What a Customer Needs & Wants.” For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.

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