By Anu Tandukar

I remember the first time I walked into the clothing store that is approximately five minutes away from my office. The young sales lady seemed extremely friendly as she was beginning to explain to me about her recent visit to Thailand. Soon I found out that she owned the store and has another outlet across the street. Her collections were all very unique, and her customers were not hesitating to pay a few extra bucks for her high-end and unique dress and accessories collections. I made my first purchase at her store that day.

I was already shopping at her store more frequently than I realized. She had become a friend as we shared longer conversations. Furthermore, receiving discounts for being a regular customer and a friend was nice. Although sometimes I am not very good with meeting new people and making new friends, I believe she was very good at it. That is why she still has me as one of her ever returning customers.

I have noticed similar shopping habits in my circle of family and friends. We tend to first remember our friends if we are looking for any kind of products or services. For example, my mom visits the same hair- dresser every time she needs a hair-related service, and my dad books almost all his flights through the same travel agency, which one of his friends owns.

In conclusion, establishing trust and relationships with potential buyers proves very essential not only to attract new customers but also to be able to retain those customers. Hence, let’s start making friends before making customers.