An important aspect of sales in business is continuity. How we can ensure that our customers go through the cycle of lead->potential customer->paying customer every time.
To ensure continuity in our business, we must set up strategies that ensure our customers consider us the next time they need a product/ service and keep them coming back.
In this article, we’ll be considering six (6) social skills to boost our potential customer base and keep our existing customers coming back:

1. Empathy: This is the ability to feel what someone else feels and understand things from their point of view.
Empathy is very important in marketing a product because it ensures that we understand the “before” and “after” transformation which our customers face.
In trying to empathize, examine these questions:
– Before a potential customer comes to me, what is their pain point?
– When a potential customer interacts with me, how do they feel?
– After a paying customer has used my product or service, what is their gain point?
Once we can ponder on these questions and answer them honestly, we can understand the reason people buy from us rather than our competitors. And this helps us deliver our service in such a way that meets our customers at their pain point and provides a “gain” point every time.
Empathy is such a strong social skill to develop that one cannot make good sales over a long period without it. But once mastered, it helps us truly understand how our customers feel, why they seek a business such as ours in the first place, and how we can meet them at the point of their need.

2. Effective communication: The importance of communication in any relationship cannot be over-emphasized. It doesn’t matter that we are referring to professional relationships between you and your customer here. We need to learn the basics of effective communication.
Lesson 1: Listen to understand your customer, do not listen to sell your product/ service
Lesson 2: Do not be afraid to initiate conversations. Remember that sticks and stones cannot break your bones.
Lesson 3: Read in-between the lines. Is your customer unsure or afraid? Are they comparing your prices with a competitor? Are they looking for a freebie, coupon code or special sale?
Lesson 4: Remember that the customer is always right, your tone and language should not indicate otherwise.
Lesson 5: Be very clear and speak with confidence.
Lesson 6: When meeting a customer in a physical space, watch your body language.
Lesson 7: The golden rules rule overall. Say “how may I help you?”, “please” and “thank you”.

3. Trustworthiness & Transparency: We all have that one friend who always shows up 1-2 hours after they promised they would and who always has an excuse.
That should not be you.

Your customers must always be able to trust you to show up when you say so.

To be trustworthy is to be a person of your word, no matter the situation. This is not saying that you should put yourself in harm’s way when there is an emergency, but instead that you can deliver as promised 95% of the time.
To be transparent is to be open and unbiased. If you are offering a 10% discount on a certain service/ product, do not take advantage of that one customer who isn’t aware of your discount. If they find out at a later time, you will be considered dishonest and biased.
People love real. Be real to your customers. Break down a sales process if needs be, help them understand the value that you provide and why, above all, they need to reconsider you every time they need that value delivered.

4. Honesty: Have you ever heard that honesty is the best policy? Because it is. For every lie that we tell, we need to come up with 99 more lies just to cover up.
Living honestly is living light. We never need to worry about “being caught”, we never need to remember made-up stories. We simply ease through every day.

Be consistently honest with your customers. This also means letting them know when a deadline CANNOT be met.

Honesty does not equal saying “YES” to every single thing.
Can you deliver the 1000 photos you took at my wedding today in a day?
Honesty in business means having the courage to accept the good, bad and the ugly.

5. Relationship building: Imagine having a customer has purchased your product/ service 100 times? Do you think it’s fair to consider such a person as a regular customer? Definitely not!

The key to relationship building is understanding that every potential customer has the capacity to come back 100 times. So do not disregard anyone.

Mutual respect and appreciation are important in building meaningful relationships that stand the test of time.
Be positive, communicate openly and manage boundaries properly.
There is a difference between a professional relationship and a personal one so avoid mixing up the two.
Finally, remember to ask the right questions. And remember the answers!

Social skills are a necessity for marketing a product/ service properly and making continuous sales in business. Practice makes perfect so practice, practice, practice.
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Thank you for reading