In this day and age of electronic media, intricate voicemail systems, and phone apps, people still like to do business with people. Yes, consumers regularly chose to do business with a particular company for no other reason than because they like the sales rep. Quite often, purchase decisions are not made because of product or price, but because of less tangible factors, like trust and credibility. The following tips can help you build your business by giving customers one more reason to choose you over your competitors: because they like you personally.

Tip 1: Look the Part

Always be well-groomed. This doesn't mean wear a suit and tie and shave off all of your facial hair. It simply means look clean and professional at all times. Hair and beards should be neat. Shirts should be tucked in and without stains or holes. Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised.

Tip 2: Be Positive

Whatever kind of day you're having, when you get in front of the customer, put it aside and smile. Be cheerful and keep all comments positive. Avoid the temptation to bad-mouth the competition; simply illustrate why your company and your product are the better choice.

Tip 3: Listen More than You Talk

Don't monopolize the conversation. Get to know your customers. The more they talk about their lifestyle and their needs, the better you'll understand how to meet those needs. But don't just listen, take notes! Even jotting down minor details like names of kids and pets will help you to develop a relationship with the customer.

Tip 4: Know Your Product

Be the expert. Don't just know your product inside and out, know your competitor's product inside and out. Don't get caught off-guard by a customer who knows more than you do about your own business.

Tip 5: Know the Trends

Trade shows, home shows, and industry publications will help you keep in touch with what's going on nationwide, but you also need to know your local market. Network with local real estate agents who can tell you what local homebuyers prefer. Go to open houses to check out local installations. Whenever possible, know what trends are happing in your customer's specific neighborhood. Don't underestimate the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses factor.

Tip 6: Don't Pretend to Know Everything

It's impossible to know everything. Sometimes there's a building code question or a difficult site issue that you just can't answer immediately. There's nothing wrong with saying, "I don't have an answer for that at the moment, but I can research it and let you know as soon as possible." Honesty builds credibility.

Tip 7: Be Reachable

Nothing will frustrate a customer more quickly and permanently than lack of communication on your part. Customers like to feel appreciated. When you respond quickly to calls, texts, and emails, you make them feel important.

Tip 8: Be Good for Your Word

If you say it, do it. Don't make promises you can't keep. Show up when you say you'll show up. Bill what you quote. Don't try to slip something by a customer and hope they won't notice. If you say you'll be back to do something, come back and do it. When your customers trusts you, not only will you get repeat business from them, they'll recommend you to others. If they don't trust you, don't expect to get another job in that neighborhood.

Tip 9: Be Respectful of Your Customer's Time

Not only should you show up on time every time, try to schedule things around your customer's needs whenever feasible. And although building a relationship with your customer is important, don't waste your customer's time with a lot of personal conversations or long-winded speeches about technical information that doesn't really matter to them.

Tip 10: Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

Provide any requested information promptly. Also, remember that the sale is not over when the final stone is laid. Look for after-the-sale opportunities, like sponsoring a backyard bash to meet the neighbors. Also, follow up with the homeowner in six months to see how things are going, and consider setting up a maintenance schedule to clean and reseal pavers every three years