The front line staff of any organisation is the first contact for the customer or client. And where most of us have resigned ourselves to less of the personal approach in huge stores, most of us would sight a reason for shopping in small local firm as being the more personal customer service that we can expect.

But in any situation, even when we only want to browse it is always good if someone asks if they can help us. Monosyllabic, unhelpful and pre-occupied staff are a huge turn off and I am sure that we have all left a store in the past because we could not be bothered to fight for attention or to put up with the scathing ‘leave me alone’ glares of the sales staff.

The best sales staff are:

  • Confident: They make eye contact and have the ability strike up a conversation with strangers.
  • Innately friendly: Customers don’t want to deal with sales associates who have to force themselves to be pleasant.
  • Flexible: Things can and do go wrong. When dealing with the public, you need to be flexible.
  • Able to multitask: Being able to juggle customers and attend to their other store duties.
  • Patient: Taking the good with the bad. The patience to deal with all comers is vital.
  • Articulate: Conversational skills with the ability to provide information when asked are vital.
  • Respectful: The customer might not always be right, but she is the customer even in the most challenging situations.
  • Proactive: Always being one step ahead to gauge when someone needs help is the best way to diminish a developing situation.
  • Positive: Being able to smile in the face of long chaotic days can make a world of difference to customers.
  • Empathy: Being able to see the matter through the eyes of a customer is a valuable skill that will enable you to provide the best possible service.