Much has been written about the way to introduce yourself in a business situation. "You never get a second chance to make a first impression" should be written on the cover of many customer service training manuals, and rightfully so. Another equally critical aspect of the employee/customer relationship is how to say goodbye. You have spent a lot of energy greeting, presenting and closing the sale. Never let something as simple as saying goodbye harm your relationship with your new customer. Doing so correctly can mean the difference in saying goodbye and saying "goodbye forever!".
Start with a good handshake. Do not break the customer's hand but do not offer a "limp fish" either. Be certain your hands are clean and dry.
Make eye contact and use the customer's name or names one last time in a polite and cordial way. Do not be canned. Say it like you would to your friend. This may be unnatural, but it will come with practice. Pay attention to how you say goodbye to friends and loved ones and try to emulate that.
Tell the customer that you appreciate their business and will be there for them should problems occur. You are trying to build a relationship. Offer contact information above and beyond what is on your business card, such as schedule of hours typically worked.
Give the customer a few extra business cards. Referrals are easier relationships to build than new contacts. If you build good rapport during your sale, this should be a comfortable event. If the sale went so poorly that you do not feel comfortable doing this, reconsider your sales technique.
Log the customer's name and address into your address database. Keeping a good contact list and building relationships goes hand in hand. To make this process easier, consider a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software product that organizes your customers into an easy to sort database. The more rapport-building information you can keep, the better. Send holiday cards if possible.
Follow up your sale with a thank you card. If practical, write it by hand and mention some aspect of the transaction to verify that you don't consider the person as just another customer.
Practice, practice, practice. You practice your sales technique. Practice your goodbye technique. Be sincere. The customer pays your bills. Treat them as such. Do not appear to rush your customers away. Be tactful.
Do not discuss things that lead to buyer's remorse in your closing. Discuss, instead, benefits of the purchase. Maintain good hygiene. Avoid overkill. If you overdo your thank you, you can come across as desperate.
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