Relationship Building versus Selling

 “People buy from people they like”. This may seem a bit cliché but it is true. There is tons of research by social scientists that back up this concept.

As an independent retailer, if the relationship you have with your customers is strong, the influence you have on them will be greater. This is because your customers will respect your advice and experience. Since most of the products and services offered by tobacco retailers are for personal use, you’ll be influencing the decision process of your customers because they’ll value your contributions.

Relationship building will benefit your business, as it will help improve loyalty and thereby making people become “long term” customers.

It has been proven that a very effective and quick way to build sales relationships is by building rapport. Independent tobacco retailers should work on building rapport as it aids smooth communication by making people feel at ease. Rapport naturally happens sometimes as you might connect with someone instantly. Some friendships are often started this way. Other times, you’ll need to deliberately work on building rapport with a customer.

To assist you in developing rapport with your clients, here are 3 simple techniques you can use:

  1. Finding common experiences
  2. Mirror and matching
  3. Active listening

Independent tobacco retailers generally operate with medications, and related services which are consumed by people. If the products are abused or dangerous, it could lead to serious risks and this means the retail where people buy from must be trustworthy and established.

Regardless of your setting as a tobacco retailer, you have been trained extensively to dispense medicine and help reduce drug related risks and problems as much as you can.

In order to improve sales in your independent tobacco store through building relationships, there are some things you need to do to ensure your customers stay loyal. This is because there are a lot of retailers competing for customer loyalty and you need to up your game to stay at the top.

  1. Develop mutually satisfying and interdependent relationship with your customers:

As an independent retailer, you need to balance relationship building with sales. This means the relationship that exists between you as a retailer and your customers should result in a “Win-win” scenario for the two parties.

No matter how great your rapport with customers is, if they’re not satisfied with your services and products, it is very likely they won’t come back to your store. The exchange process should also be voluntary between both parties because mutual enthusiasm will help strengthen your relationship.

  1. Make your walk-in customers return:

Relationship marketing’s main goal is to ensure your consumers stay loyal to your brand. This means independent tobacco retailers should try to focus their relationship marketing efforts on ensuring their walk-in customers repeat purchases.

To cap it all, as a retailer, you should try to educate your consumers about the products they are buying as this will show that you truly care about their well-being. This will not only help boost sales but it will also ensure people stay loyal to your store.