SALES

The 5 Traits That Customers Value

Customers want you to be the kind of person they can truly trust.
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Customers want to buy great products and services, of course, but since they can probably buy those same products and services elsewhere, here's what they want from you, personally:

1. Professionalism.

Customers want to do business with people who are serious about what they do, and willing to achieve a deep understanding of their craft.

2. Integrity.

Integrity means being as good as your word and being willing to take a stand even when it's unpopular with your customer or your company.

3. Empathy.

To show you care about a customer, you must really listen to the customer and try to see the business and personal situation from the customer's viewpoint.

4. Knowledge.

You don't have to be an expert on everything, but you do need to be an expert on your products, your industry, and how you can help them be more successful.

5. Creativity.

Customers want you to solve problems and create opportunities in innovative ways that wouldn't naturally occur to them.

When customers see you possess the above traits, they give you back something that's truly invaluable: their personal trust.

Kudos to sales guru Jerry Acuff for this one.

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IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Sep 25, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James was recently named a "Top 40 Social Selling Marketing Master" by Forbes, and his blog has won awards from the Society of American Business Editors and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. His writing has appeared in publications as diverse as Wired, Brandweek, and Men's Health, and he is the author of numerous books, including The Tao of Programming, Business Wisdom of the Electronic Elite, and, most recently, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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