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Greetings That Will Engage Your Customers

If you have never read the book entitled How to Win Friends and Influence People, then you may want to pick up a copy. The book goes into detail about some of the same tips that are offered here. You will learn how to get people to like you, how to make them want to buy from you, and how to turn them into repeat customers. Here are seven tips to help you learn the art (and science) of greeting customers.


Studies have shown that smiles are contagious, which is to say that offering someone a smile can actually make that person happier and more likely to smile as well. Happy customers will be in a better mood to make a purchase.

Make Eye Contact

Eye contact tells the customer that you are genuinely interested in them and their needs. They'll feel more comfortable and less like you have something to hide if you make eye contact. Eye contact suggests you are honest in your dealings.

How Are You Doing?

Never ask a customer if they "need help." Ask how they are doing or how they are feeling instead. People are always interested in talking about themselves, so encourage the customer to do that. You will come across as friendly and interested if you let the customer do most of the talking, so ask how they are doing and let them take it from there.

Full Frontal Approach

Never, under any circumstances, should you approach a customer from behind. It makes customers feel pressured and gives them the sense they are being spied on. Approaching from behind also prevents you from making eye contact. Only approach customers from the front so that they can see your winning smile.

Get the Customer's Name

People like the sound of their own name, so figure out a way to get your customer's name. One way to learn a name is to introduce yourself first and then ask the customer to share his or her name. Once you know the customer's name, use it in conversation.

Gather Information

Once you know the customer's name, you can start a conversation. Thank the customer for coming in and ask if it is his or her first time in the store. These simple cues will encourage customers to share information with you about why they came in, what they are looking for, and so forth. During the conversation, tell the customer how you can help (note that this is different from asking if they need help).

Keep Greeting

Even if you've already said hello and introduced yourself, say hello again if you see the customer at another point. Be sure to ask how the customer is doing each time you meet.

The Golden Rule

When it comes to greeting customers, there is one rule that trumps all others. Always put the customer's needs first. If the customer needs something you don't sell, tell them where they can find it. Be interested in how your customer is doing and genuinely interested in helping. Even if they don't buy on a given day, they'll remember how helpful you were and return again later. Besides, if other retailers find out that you send customers their way, they're likely to do the same for you.