Top-Shelf Tip No. 157:

"The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer."

Shep Hyken

What To Do When The Customer Isn’t Right

They say the customer is always right. However, when you work in sales, you know this isn't the case. If you view the customer as always being right, you risk burnout on your sales and customer service teams, a negative customer experience and wasted resources.

Dan Tyre, sales director at HubSpot, encourages leaders to be solution-oriented, even when the customer is wrong. We share his thoughts on what to do when the customer isn't right in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Remember that miscommunication is part of a full schedule. When you have a full schedule of client interactions, Tyre says there's going to be a message or two that falls through the cracks. What matters is how you proceed. First, always be tweaking. Never stop looking for ways to improve your presentation. Use call reviews, check-ins, and prospect meetings to hone your message, listen to feedback and ask how you can get better.

Understand your buyer better. Customers are more demanding and more educated than ever. The good part about this is that prospects do a lot of research on your company before you jump on your first call. The bad thing about this is that there can be a lot of misinformation on the internet. Tyre says your prospect might come to your first meeting with incorrect assumptions about your product or service. To mitigate these scenarios, it's important to better understand your customers. You can do this by studying your buyer personas and understanding your prospects' learning styles.

Practice active listening. During every call or meeting you host, Tyre suggests periodically stopping and reviewing what you've heard. This ensures you're on the same page before steamrolling ahead. If your prospect seems to misunderstand your product or what you are offering you can clarify and correct any misconceptions before they snowball.

Avoid negative power statements. Conflict with a prospect isn't conducive to winning deals. When faced with aggressive questioning or accusatory statements, Tyre recommends avoiding negative power statements that only serve to drag you down. Phrases like, "That's wrong," "No way," "That's not the way it works," and "Who told you that?" won't win you any friends or positively influence a deal.

Instead, if a prospect says something factually incorrect, slow down the conversation and repeat what you've heard, saying, "So, what I'm hearing is that you've heard our product doesn't work for construction companies. Can you tell me more about that?" Instead of immediately refuting your prospect's understanding of the situation with data or a construction case study, you've ensured the customer feels heard and understood.

When you take time to respect customers' perspectives and thoughtfully address their concerns, you leave them with a positive impression of you, your company and your offering.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Dan Tyre is sales director at HubSpot.

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