11 Tips to Make Small Talk to Your Customers

If you’re more introverted than extroverted, new to the business, or not the most confident when chatting to strangers, here are some tips to help you with small talk and establish vital ties with your customers.

Use appropriate body language

Ensure you establish the correct tone before you open your lips to complain about the weather or the horrible traffic.

Your body language communicates messages to others, so make sure you’re friendly and exude the correct feelings. Smile, shake hands, and make eye contact. This will assist in breaking the ice and making both parties feel more at ease.

Make the first move

Take the initiative when meeting with a customer for the first time. Begin by saying hello and introducing yourself. Following the introductory sentence, ask an open-ended inquiry to offer your consumer the opportunity to speak and start a dialogue.

Say anything other than “hello.” For in-person or video-based conversations, a little small chat and eye contact invite others to ask inquiries. This will warm you up, get the conversation going, and keep you from seeming too forceful or dominant.

If you find yourself freezing while meeting new people for the first time, have some guaranteed conversation starters in your locker. If you get tense, you might refer to these topics to get you back.

Just introduce yourself

This won’t work in every situation, but you may attempt the straightforward approach if you can’t think of an intriguing conversational gambit. Approach the individual, extend your hand, and say, “Hello, my name is so-and-so. All I wanted to do was introduce myself.”

You went out of your way to meet with the listener will make them feel significant. It will almost certainly make the other person want to chat with you.

Listen

A good discussion is more than simply talking. It’s also about paying attention. If you’re presenting a business offer or goals or objectives, make sure you listen to what your customer says.

Maintain eye contact and make an effort to be present. Nothing is more off-putting than conversing with someone who isn’t paying attention to what you’re saying.

Even if you are unable to solve the problem, continue to listen

There will always be times when you cannot remedy a customer’s situation. They may be angry and wish to blame the impersonal corporation that did “this” to “them.” You perform a vital role as the company’s ambassador at that time by listening to them.

When this occurs, a small chat might occasionally assist. The client may initiate the small conversation rather than you in this situation. The time you invest at this point might have a huge impact on the customer’s future interest in the company.

If your previous interactions gave the consumer the idea that you care, your listening now confirms that perception. Although you may want to disconnect and go on to the next caller, allow them a minute to think things over. Perhaps they will say something that will lead to an alternative approach to solving the problem.

Avoid discussing controversial topics

It’s fantastic to be able to start a customer meeting with some casual chit-chat but select your themes carefully. Make no statements that may be seen as provocative, and avoid engaging in political debates. Keep things simple.

Offer assistance

You won’t often be able to help a customer, but if you do, you shouldn’t pass up the chance.

Because you helped, the customer is more likely to like and trust you. Be careful not to be too much or too annoying. That will do more harm than good.

Ask questions

A client meeting should provide you with information about your consumer. Use this chance to learn more about them and their business goals. Don’t go into a meeting bragging about how fantastic your firm is.

Highlight the advantages you give and provide explanations about goods and services, but be prepared to ask questions. Allow your customer to talk and avoid the hard pitch.

Nobody likes to feel trapped up against a wall in a dark corner while attempting to drink a coffee at 10 a.m. on a Friday.

Compose a few open-ended questions for those awkward silences

Keep a brief list of open-ended questions on hand if you need to address an issue that will take some time. Avoid closed-ended inquiries that need a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer: “What did you think of that game last night?” is a more engaging topic than “Did you enjoy that game last night?”

If you are acquainted with the broad region where the consumer resides, inquire about local news or activities. Inquire whether they have any future travel plans or excursions. As you help them, give them the impression that you care about their well-being.

Respond clearly and positively

You may sometimes encounter a person who has waited a long time for help. They may feel dissatisfied and disregarded due to situations beyond your control. A little small conversation lets them know you’re paying attention and provides them a chance to voice their issues before moving on.

The person on the other end of the desk or phone line may feel neglected. Give them the idea that you are attentive throughout your encounters with them. Infusing a small conversation while tending to the issues at hand shows them that you are interested and attentive.

Better communication is facilitated by precise terminology. For example, the customer dealing with you may not comprehend slang or technical terminology or be proficient in English.

When communicating with persons who speak little English, you may need to reword inquiries and remarks. Even in these cases, a small conversation might help you create trust when dealing with them. When possible, use positive replies. Words like “no,” “can’t,” and “won’t” restrict discourse and create the sense of locked doors.

Display your enthusiasm

Small chat helps you learn about other people’s likes, interests, and aspirations. Even if you are not usually talkative, adopting a positive attitude shows clients that you view them as persons with needs. You could learn something and relieve the anxiety that prompted the first contact or visit.

Your excitement conveys a powerful message that the customer’s inquiries are important. Side discussions, possibly with some laughing, placed a smile on both of their cheeks.

Even if time constraints prohibit you from thoroughly addressing the issue, you have shown respect and validated their worries.

Congratulate them on their accomplishment

If your customer has just done something good, that could be a good place to start. Tell them how happy you are for them.

This means you have to do your research and keep an eye on what your customer is doing. These can even be things that the person you are talking to has done in their own life. If you meet your customer for the first time, this is often a great way to start a conversation.

End the conversation politely

You want to leave a meeting feeling good, so make sure the topic is appropriately closed. Don’t simply get up and go. Shake your client’s hand, express how much you enjoyed meeting with them, and make plans to meet again soon.

Some individuals are born with the ability to make small conversations, but this is not a quality that everyone has. If you find it difficult to interact with customers, maybe this approach can set you up for success and make you feel more confident and at ease.

Final verdict

When you talk to customers, you look for physical signs to make sure your message is getting through. These could be things like nodding the head, shrugging the shoulders, or raising eyebrows.

But it’s hard to see these kinds of body language during a video call. So, it’s a good idea to get your customer involved as much as possible.

Ask them questions to get them involved in your pitch. Add a few jokes here and there to make things more fun.


About the Author
James has over 20 years of experience as a leader and entrepreneur. As a founder, he led startup teams as well as million-dollar companies. He has recently turned to leadership coaching and writing to pass his knowledge to the next generation. If you have any questions or comments regarding the content of this post, please send us a message via the contact page.

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