While I worked part-time in a gift shop this fall, I greeted everyone and at some point during their visit checked in to see if I could be of help/service.
I simply saw it as my job to ask. I never knew how people would respond. Some were grateful. Others guarded. More than a few were suspicious of my intentions.
My job wasn't to sell. It was to serve. Within minutes trust was built, a rapport established. In service, sales came naturally.
My job was to remain open as the customer shifted in their queries and quests, including the ones who were adamant they hadn't come to shop. Or the customers who returned hours later to make a purchase. To respond in the moment. Moment to moment.
One customer commented I asked a lot of questions but only she had the answer to what she was looking for (to buy a pair of earrings as a gift). Her annoyance shifted as I combed through 10 earring carousels (1000 pairs) and selected two pairs of earrings based on the information I collected. She bought both pairs.
Not all my selections were winners. I wasn't attached, hurt or offended if I was off base. I learned from their reactions, gathering better information.
I wasn't attached to whether they wanted my help or if they bought anything.
I could only offer what I/the store offered.
If I didn't have a match for their needs it wasn't a reflection on me, my skills, my worth.
My favourite part of the job was helping people. It was fun, a bit of a game, to see if I could locate what they were looking for. Provide options. Suggest ideas. Work within their budget. Or not. Letting them decide. Recommending other businesses/services when I couldn't meet their need/request.
While this part time gig may have wrapped up I'm going to approach my business in the same way.
Offer what is possible.
Remain detached from the outcome.
Fostering trust plants seeds in people. They will come back and seek you out.
Recognize I won't be able to help everyone.
Honour what I can provide and what I cannot.
Celebrate connections and relationships with clients.