This weekend I was shopping in a store I had not ever visited and witnessed an interesting phenomenon. Everyone on the sales staff dished out sincere compliments frequently throughout my shopping experience.
As I was browsing through the racks of clothes, they would point out a particular dress and how it would accentuate my coloring. They would bring over items they thought I may like that I wouldn’t have chosen for myself. Yet it wasn’t overbearing or obtrusive because it felt sincere.
As I was trying on my choices, nearly every person on the sales staff would gather and make comments. Yet it didn’t feel planned. They may glance over their shoulder and gravitate toward the mirror where I was or smile and make a quick comment.
While I understand they are obviously paid to push merchandise, the mood that resulted from their positivity was what was most interesting to me. Suddenly shoppers were complimenting each other as they were trying on items. It was if the compliments were contagious. The atmosphere put me in a generous mood, and I purchased more than I typically would have in a more solitary shopping experience with less interaction.
This got me thinking about the impact of a genuine compliment.
Regardless of what type of small business you have or what industry you are in, you can dole out compliments as one of your small business strategies. Train any staff who greets or interacts with clients to find a sincere compliment to pay forward. Make it a part of your culture to notice details and find something positive to say to each client. Reward employees for unique and sincere use of compliments. Make a note on your intake forms or phone scripts to help you remember to use compliments.
You want your clients to feel good about themselves and you when they interact with your business. While they may not be able to articulate why they have a smile on their face when they leave your business, the feelings that result from the positive experience you’ve created in your compliment culture will benefit you through increased sales and referrals. I challenge you to find two sincere reasons to compliment a client during each interaction. Then let us know how it works in your business!