How to Lose a Customer

What happens in the first few minutes of a new customer’s experience with your company often defines the success or failure of the relationship. Unfortunately, there are probably more ways to mess up those first minutes than to make them work for you. If you know what to watch out for, you can avoid falling into some all-too-familiar traps. Here are a few of the most common things business people do to lose their customers.

Give your customer the cold shoulder if you want them to walk away. This has happened to everyone, and it feels like the place wishes you hadn’t even come in. You walk around and wait for someone to acknowledge your presence. Salespeople are talking with each other while you are standing only a few feet away, being completely ignored. If you want to see your customers walking across the street to your competitor, ignoring them is one of the most reliable ways of making it happen.

Act in an unprofessional manner. If your customers see you acting unprofessionally about something, they will immediately begin to question whether your business is more stable than you are. What will your reaction be if they have to return something? A calm and courteous demeanor goes a long way towards making customers feel secure about the company they are dealing with. It also reassures them that you are going to treat them in the right way if they come back to you with problems later.

Trying to sell your customer something they don’t want to buy. You can talk about how good your product is, but if you can’t show your customers why they need it, it won’t matter. Many employees focus on trying to sell only those products they are most comfortable or familiar with, instead of taking the time to learn about other products and taking the trouble to find out what the customer really needs or wants.

Have a one-way conversation. In other words, you dominate the conversation and don’t let your customer get a word in edgewise. It’s not only very common, it will most likely be considered rude by your customers. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you met someone for the first time and that person monopolized the conversation, how would that make you feel?

Listening is the most important element of communication. A salesperson who knows what they are doing will make sure that the customer does most of the talking. This is the only way to find out what the customer came to you to buy. If you want to show your customer that you have a real interest in them and care about his or her situation, then do a lot of listening.

Finding new customers is great.The most important part of that meeting is what happens during those initial moments, after you’ve found them. One of the best way to ensure that they remember their visit fondly is to know what mistakes to avoid.