“Greeting” is a quaint word to be using about a hard-nosed topic like selling. Isn’t it? You greet friends when you meet them. You send greeting cards to friends who are away.
Actually it’s not so quaint. I think you should greet every customer as you would a friend.
You’ll have to choose your own style, but here’s the upbeat way I greet customers — always with a smile.
- “Hi. How are you?”
- “How’re you doing?”
- “What’s up?” or “What’s new?”
- “Where’ve you been?”
- “Hey, you’re looking good (or tan, or sexy)!”
- “Hi! Here for the widget that’s on sale?”
I never say “Can I help you?” Never. I never say it to my friends. And if I said it to my customers they’d probably say “Just looking” back.
My notion is to greet customers so they feel warm, comfortable, and welcome. A good greeting says you’re available to help — and not incidentally, tells potential shoplifters that you’re paying attention.
It’s interesting. Every time I succeed in making a customer feel welcome, he proceeds right off to tell me why he came to visit.
And that’s when I start screening or qualifying.