Appreciating our customers and showing them how much we value their business is fundamental to our sales success, right? But is it possible to show too much gratitude to our customers? Indeed, it is! While it is important to convey appreciation for our customers’ time and business, there is also a delicate balance of power, respect and appreciation between sales professionals and our customers that needs to be maintained for a healthy and productive relationship and to achieve sales success. Being overly ingratiating with customers – thanking them endlessly, continually heaping praise and admiration on them – can actually undermine our value and credibility in the customer’s mind. Consider these tips for communicating your gratitude to customers without undermining your value:
1. Limit your “thank yous” to one at the beginning of the meeting and, maybe, one at the end. Thanking the customer repeatedly can sound like groveling that can potentially undercut the customer’s respect for you. After all, every time you meet with a customer, you are investing your own time, too. In addition to contributing your time, you provide valuable insight and guidance to support the customer’s success. If there wasn’t benefit to the customer, he/she wouldn’t be meeting with you.
2. Connect your “thank you” to a benefit of time spent together. Instead of simply saying, “Thanks for your time,” or “Thank you for meeting with me,” reference a positive outcome that resulted from the time spent together. For example, “Thanks for meeting with me today. We have generated some very powerful options to further reduce inventory expenses next quarter.” Or, “Thanks for your time today. Your input will allow me to identify the very best solution to meet your short-term goals.”
3. Don’t always end with an expression of gratitude. For many of us, “thank you” has become a substitute for “good bye” in our customer interactions. Instead, consider proposing a next step, making an offer to help or simply wishing your customer a good day. For example, “I’m glad we were able to connect today. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions or thoughts. Have a great afternoon!”
Of course, we always want our customers to feel loved and appreciated! Using these simple tips will help us communicate our own value and contribution, as well as our appreciation for our customers, and strike that delicate balance that drives a healthy and productive customer relationship and increases our sales success.