Your business is an extension of you. How it is shaped, its colours, it process and feel; it is you – like it or not.
Your personality will come out through your business and land smack onto your customers. So if you are a miserable SOB, don’t expect success unless your business is ideal in a miserable don’t care environment – you think that I am joking but there are businesses that thrive in this type of space.
You probably have gravitated to a business that suites your personality – this would have happened subconsciously. If you are a people person, then there is a fair chance that you are probably not in a people unfriendly environment. You have probably exploited your own natural strengths and applied them, where you can, into your own business operations.
Personality is a huge component in face to face sales transactions. There are lots of good sales people in the world, brilliant sales people are a little harder to find, but when you do find them, you quickly realise the attributes that they have that others don’t.
One common personality trait is their ability to engage with their customer. It is more than just efficient customer service (this is always important and should not be sacrificed), it is the empathy, the engagement, the Factor X. If you have Factor X, even if it is not in abundant quantities, then you are on your way to success.
While you are a sole trader, you control the customer engagement. As soon as you hire face-time or phone-time staff, then you are responsible to channel your Factor X into everyone of your employees. You need to re-create the properties that made you successful into your own staff.
Just imagine having built a successful business based on courteous interactions (this is a known Factor X component). What will happen if your employees did not treat your customers with the same courteous manner? Would your customers remain?
One of the reasons why welcome and goodbye scripts are used by many successful organisations is so that transaction familiarity is immediately established, and so that transaction conclusion lingers after the transaction has terminated. Consumers look for these known traits and are comforted by their presence. This ultimately reinforces your brand.
Although product knowledge is important, training your staff on how to interact with your customers, even if it is how to say hello or goodbye is extremely important but unfortunately frequently overlooked. This training needs to happen with staff at all levels of the organisation – think of it as induction training, and will apply to face- and phone-time staff as well as backroom or non-customer contact staff.