A little while ago, we discussed how professionalism for the sake of professionalism has become tiresome to me. Naturally, I received excellent comments that supported both sides of the argument.
Being an entrepreneur is great, but it also comes with responsibilities. These include trying to understand who your customers are and how to interact with them.
Anyone knows that an entrepreneur MUST know how to interact with customers. If entrepreneurs don’t close sales, then their business closes instead. Now, we’re going to talk about general ways an entrepreneur should handle customers.
Customers As Friends
Friends are allowed to be customers, but don’t necessarily treat your customers as friends. Sure, warm up to your customers, be personable, but don’t cross the line into unprofessional casualness until it is clearly acceptable.
The title of this article is “Yo Sucka! You Wanna Buy Stuff?” Try dropping that line on the next lead that walks in and see what the results are. I would guess:
- Loss of sale.
- Loss of customer.
- or, Loss of job.
Cultivate a comfortable yet professional relationship and enjoy the sales. I’ve been in sales and this works. In addition to being on the selling end, I’ve been on the buying end and this tactic works on me as well (assuming I already want to purchase).
Striking A Balance
In sales, it is important to strike a balance between professionalism & friendliness. Come off as too professional, then it comes off as cold, disconnected & unrelatable. This is a problem that I sometimes have with this website. I often catch myself being overly professional which makes it less fun for you and me!
Finding this balance can be tough, but the best approach is to start off a bit too professional and gauge the person’s personality. This is called erring on the side of caution, and it’s a smart move! I had an awful experience with a furniture salesman that could have used a bit less pressure and a bit more friendly!
Personalities Are Difficult
If this all sounds difficult, that’s because it is for many people. If you’re thinking:
- “Eww, I have to get to know people?”
- “I don’t like talking to people!”
- or, “One size can fit all.”
Then being an entrepreneur may not be the right fit. Being an entrepreneur is often painted as a glamorous thing, but it is really about rolling your sleeves up, reaching your hands into the thick muck that is people’s personalities and trying to pull out sales.
Sure, I could have made that sound prettier, but why doll things up? Entrepreneurship is about meeting many people of different personalities and convincing them you’re the solution to their problems and they need it because of x, y & z.
Hopefully I haven’t discouraged you too much, but welcome to entrepreneurship. I love it, and I know many other people who do as well. Like everything else, it has its downsides, but for many, this is the only way to go. If you’re curious about another downside, be sure to read “Entrepreneur Mistake: How Many Hours Do Entrepreneurs Work?“