Six Steps to Developing Clienteling Habits


Succeeding in today’s retail environment requires that consultants build their own customer community. People will change their behavior if they see the new behavior as easy, rewarding and normal.

Here are six simple steps that Exsellerate, Inc. employs to jump start high pay-off activities in client’s organizations.  

Step 1 – Make it Easy

Give your team an email template to simply copy and paste. Let them edit it to make it more personal for the client and the circumstances.

Do This: Click Here for an example of an email model that we provide our clients.

Step 2 – Make it Comfortable

At first, strive for participation not perfection. The #1 roadblock to beginning a new habit is the fear of failure. Remove this obstacle and you will be well on your way.

Do This: Start with 1. Ask your people to simply send one email or to make one call today.

Step 3 – Make it Normal

Consultants who resist learning new behaviors often picture the activity in a negative way. Calling a client is often equated with tele-marketers calling at dinner-time.

New behaviors must be seen as normal and that “people like me” act this way. People I admire and want to emulate act this way.

Do This: Find someone on your team with a hobby such as golf. Ask how they would like it if they received a call or email from a consultant at the store where they purchase their golf equipment advising them of a special event. Since your clients have purchased one of the most important items (engagement ring) of their lives, how do you feel they will respond to your call? Let them see the behavior as normal and acceptable.

Step 4 - Make it Rewarding

It may take 30 days before the team members begin to see the performance needle move as a result of the new behaviors. Provide the team with instant gratification but keep the focus on the long-term rewards for the clienteling behavior.

Do This:                Short-Term Rewards

In this case, a “Participation Trophy” is a good thing. The first time participants try the behavior, reward each one with something that they will value such as a Starbucks gift card or a six pack of their favorite beer.

Do This: Long-Term Rewards:

Recognizing that it the new behaviors may take up to ninety days to begin to produce, keep the focus on how doing this behavior will generate results (emotionally and practically) once the activities begin to yield results.

Step 5 – Make it Fun

Celebrate the little wins such as the first attempted call or email. What do we all do with a baby’s first steps? Now you’ve got the picture.

Do This: Reinforce the behavior immediately with something that team will see as fun such as ringing a bell or handing out the rubber chicken award.

Step 6 – Make it a Habit

It takes repeating a behavior seventeen times before becoming a habit. Top consultants are typically very competitive and hate to lose. Give them a challenge and watch the behavior turn in to a habit.

Do This: Create a “17 Day Challenge” and again, celebrate success.

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