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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Watch Your Language

In business we tend to use words that seem impressive. What ends up happening is we insult our customers intelligence. The bigger the word the more intimidating we become. If we intimidate our customer it creates an uncomfortable situation. That leads to fewer sales and a loss of customer loyalty.

When making the sale avoid the business jargon. You may understand it but that doesn't mean your customer will. You can however introduce a new term. Present the new word and explain what it means and why it is used. This way you are not insulting your customer and you retain customer loyalty.

When speaking to your customer explain it in terms anyone can understand. This is in no way demeaning your customer. I just means you are trying to ensure they understand. This also does not mean using little words that anyone 2 and up will know. Speak like an adult not an English major.

Slang is a big no no here. You can say something that is harmful, makes you appear less reliable, or terms that only the teen crowd will understand. Be confident and intelligent in your speaking while staying likable.

If nobody can understand what you are saying, they wont buy. If the directions are nothing but big words and appear high tech, why would the average person want to use it. This is not rocket science. Keep it simple.

The all-time no no that should not ever need to be discussed is curse words. Never use curse words when dealing with a client. While you may be fine with this in front of friends, you are trying to portray a professional appearance in front of your client. Nobody wants to deal with a potty mouth.

In speaking with customers watch your tone. This speaks volumes just like that right words do. If everything you say sounds like you are angry at the world, your customer will fear you and stop dealing with you. At the same time you speak too softly you are a push over. Push overs appear less confident and why should anyone buy from someone who isn't confident when they speak about a product. It devalues the product and makes it less desired. Don't become monotone either. It's boring and customers will lose interest quick. Why spend time with someone you are bored with.

The written word can be a tricky one to approach. The written word can be very difficult to understand the meaning behind. The way things are worded can make you appear angry, defensive, unreliable, and not knowledgeable. Be careful with this. Type with a smile. Most times this will come out in your typing. I know that sounds silly but it really does work. If you are smiling it is hard to come off angry.

Text language may be fine for the phone between friends but it has no place in correspondence with a customer. Ditch the text and Internet acronyms and replace them with understandable simplified terms that make you trust worthy and approachable.

Also watch how you respond to negative reactions. It is never appropriate to attack back even when you feel you or your business has been attacked. Never argue in public. It should always be private. If your customer starts this in private, simply ask they contact you at your chosen contact point, email or phone, and explain you will be better able to help them with a little more information. This also goes for arguing with someone not a customer such as defending a friend. Don't argue in public. Plain and simple.

Remember someone is always watching. What you say and how you say it can determine whether or not others will deal with you. Avoid making your customer uncomfortable whenever possible. Your customer wants to enjoy shopping. The more fun they have, the more they shop.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009


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