If you are not relating you are not selling ~ at least not twice.
Times have changed and it is a subtle change. Major retail chains are learning that the customer experience ~ at a personal level, even when selling commodities is important and the shift is clearly towards people who can interact with their clients. You may sell them once but they may not come back.
So, what is the response? Training people so they know their facts is a basic and it is required. Being miss-informed or uninformed just doesn’t cut it. So basic training is required. Part of basic training includes listening skills.
Listening Skills: the ability to respond to customer requests and genuinely listen to the customer is a required skill - otherwise it is impossible to answer in the customer’s language and in the customer’s own terms.
Relating: Relating happens on many levels. Relating brings customers back. It is the difference between a commodity purchase and a positive personal experience. When staff learn how to relate to their customers, it is a powerful incentive for customers to enjoy the experience and the value they receive. They come back, again and again. They are looking for the relationship, along with the products and services they purchased.
In the electronic and connective world, it is amazing how many people - are starved for relationships.
So, what has become the defining factor? The defining factor between competitors is how well their staff relate to people. It is the customer experience. If you are conscious of what your customer is experiencing, the value you bring, not only with your product, also the way they acquire your product or service. And the value they attach to it - this is huge!
Top retail leaders now include psychometric behavioral profiles that identify natural ability to relate to others as part of their hiring process. It is proving to be a major competitive advantage, especially where the product itself can be purchased in many places.
It is pretty much like the golden rule; do unto others as you would like them to unto you. A great reference is to think about their best buying experience. Go down that path a bit and you have it.