Tempering your enthusiasm

When a customer demonstrates interest by asking a question, this gives you an opportunity to inspire confidence in you and your business, which is great.

But PLEASE don’t do a ‘data dump’ on your customers.  In other words, don’t overload them with information.  First, clarify what it is they want to know and how much detail will be appropriate.

I was reminded of this when preparing an ‘Understanding and Positively Influencing How Your Customers Judge You’ workshop for the great people at the Nursery and Garden Centre Western Australia just prior to Spring. I made a point of familiarising myself with the customer experience by visiting a few garden centres, observing the customer behaviour and, as unobtrusively as possible, listening in to a few conversations.

One of these was between a customer and a knowledgeable staff member who was tending to some of the plants. The lady must have asked him whether you should prune deciduous shrubs in summer or winter.

He clearly knew everything there was to know about the pros and cons of pruning deciduous shrubs at certain times of year. And he proceeded to share this knowledge with her in excruciating detail. I was just about on my knees weighed down by this avalanche of information and eventually slipped away leaving her to the mercy of this gardening enthusiast.

I have no idea whether the lady appreciated all this information or whether she deeply regretted having asked the question. Enthusiasm is an admirable quality – and product knowledge is vital – BUT always check the customer’s existing knowledge level and how much they want to know before giving information. That way you can tailor it to suit them.

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Jurek Leon is a storyteller, speaker and trainer. Subscribe to Jurek's FREE monthly 'Terrific Tips' e-newsletter at http://www.terrifictrading.com/terrific-newsletter/. Alternatively, email info@terrifictrading.com.