It’s no secret we live in a super fast paced world that offers instant communication day or night.
As long as you have an internet connection you can talk to, order and discuss just about anything anywhere.
While this new technology has certainly changed our lives, not to mention the business landscape, the one thing that will never go out of vogue in a service based business is “person to person marketing”.
This is because virtually all sales are “personal” in nature. Even if you get a lead online you still have to meet at one point or another. I know that this “person to person” type interaction scares a lot of people but that is way you build a profitable service based business.
How to improve your people skills
There is an old saying that states “if you own a business, then YOU ARE in the “people business”. To be blunt, there is absolutely no way around it, so you need to embrace it. Your ultimate goal is to be really good at “establishing rapport with people”. Below is a big picture view of how that is accomplished…
1 – You need to find a way to CONNECT
This skill that can be improved by just being aware of what defines a connection. In my opinion this revolves around showing an interest in their core concerns. They are contacting you and your business because they have a problem of some kind, and they are looking for someone to solve it.
Try to pay attention to visual cues like facial expressions and body language plus the tone of their voice as they speak on certain topics, as that will clue you in to the importance of a given topic. This process helps you better understand their opinions and perspectives, which is key when trying to get to the bottom of a given issue.
2 – Focus on LISTENING to the customer
Far too many people worry about what to say to the customer when they should be worried about being a better listener. You need to encourage others to speak freely with you concerning their issues THEN listen intently to what they tell you. This is accomplished by asking “open ended questions” that make the person describe the issues they are having in detail.
A question like “Explain some of the problems you are having with your current company” is a good open ended question that makes them TALK in better detail. “I guess you are having problems with your current company” is closed ended, meaning it leads to a “yes or no” answer that tells you nothing.
3 – Communicate who you are and how you can help
Though you are going to spend the better part of your time with the customer simply listening, when it comes time for you to speak you need to do so in a clear and convincing manner. Speak with conviction and sincerity when describing how you can help them solve their problem. Consider sharing a story about how you helped another customer with a similar issue.
When speaking try to project an “air of confidence”. Just do your best to keep it short and to the point, as you’ll want to avoid lengthy stories that may lose their interest. While speaking make sure you make a generous amount of eye contact. Avoid getting “too technical” when speaking, as “plain talk” works best.
I’ll wrap this up by mentioning some people have great people skills just by nature, while others have to work a bit harder, but in either case we all can work at improving what we are blessed with. This process of improving your people skills is a long-term project, so don’t get frustrated!
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