Dealing with Difficult Customers

Written by Dave Kahle

Continued from page 1

More often than not, oncerepparttar customer has had an initial chance to vent his rage, it's going to die down a little, and that's your opportunity to take step in.

Even if he has started calming down on his own, there comes a moment - and I can almost guarantee you'll sense it - to help calm him down. Try something alongrepparttar 127260 lines of: "It sounds like something has gone wrong, and I can understand your frustration. I'm sorry you're experiencing this problem. Let's take a look atrepparttar 127261 next step."

Try to calm yourself first, and then to acknowledge his feelings. Say, "I can tell you're upset..." or, "It sounds like you're angry..." then connect torepparttar 127262 customer by apologizing, or empathizing. When you say something like "I'm sorry that happened. If I were you, I'd be frustrated, too." It's amazing how much of a calming effect that can have.

Remember, anger is a natural, self-defensive reaction to a perceived wrong. If there is a problem with your companyís product or service, some frustration and disappointment is justified.

This is so important, let me repeat it. First you listen carefully and completely torepparttar 127263 customer. Then you empathize with whatrepparttar 127264 customer is feeling, and let him or her know that you understand. This will almost always calmrepparttar 127265 customer down. You've crackedrepparttar 127266 shell ofrepparttar 127267 egg. Now, you can proceed to deal withrepparttar 127268 problem.

2. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM. Sometimes whilerepparttar 127269 angry customer is venting, you'll be able to latch right on torepparttar 127270 problem because it's clear-cut. Something is broken. Or late. Or he thinks a promise has been broken.

But sometimes inrepparttar 127271 middle of all that rage, it's tough to comprehendrepparttar 127272 bottom-line issue. This is a good place for some specific questions. Askrepparttar 127273 customer to give you some details. "What day did he order it, when exactly was it promised. What is his situation atrepparttar 127274 moment?" These kind of questions forcerepparttar 127275 customer to think about facts instead of his/her feelings about those facts. So, you interject a more rational kind of conversation. Think of this step ofrepparttar 127276 process as cutting throughrepparttar 127277 white ofrepparttar 127278 egg to get torepparttar 127279 yolk atrepparttar 127280 center.

It's important, when you think you understandrepparttar 127281 details, to restaterepparttar 127282 problem. You can say, "Let me see if I have this right. You were promised delivery last Friday, because you need it for an important project this coming week. But you haven't received our product yet. Is that correct?"

He will probably acknowledge that you've sized uprepparttar 127283 situation correctly. Or, he may say, "No, that's not right" and then proceed to explain further. In either caserepparttar 127284 outcome is good, because you will eventually understand his situation correctly, and have him tell you that "Yes, that's right."

And at that point you can apologize. Some people believe that an apology is an acknowledgment of wrongdoing. But you can appreciate and apologize forrepparttar 127285 customer's inconvenience without pointing fingers. Just say, "Mr. Brady, I'm sorry this has happened." Or "Mr. Brady. I understand this must be very frustrating. Let's just see what we can do fix it, OK?"

3. AVOID BLAME. You don't want to blamerepparttar 127286 customer by saying something like "Are you sure you understoodrepparttar 127287 price and delivery date correctly?" This will just ignite his anger all over again because you are questioning his credibility and truth-telling.

And you don't want to blame your company or your suppliers Never say, "Iím not surprised your invoice was wrong. It's been happening a lot." Or, "Yes, our backorders are way behind."

In general, you AVOID BLAME. Which is different than acknowledging responsibility. For example, if you know, for a fact, a mistake has been made, you can acknowledge it and apologize for it. "Mr. Brady, clearly there's a problem here with our performance. I can't change that, but let me see what I can do to help you out because I understand how important your project is."

4. RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. Now youíre atrepparttar 127288 heart ofrepparttar 127289 egg. You won't always be able to fixrepparttar 127290 problem perfectly. And you may need more time than a single phone call. But it's critical to leaverepparttar 127291 irate customer withrepparttar 127292 understanding that your goal is to resolverepparttar 127293 problem. You may need to say, "I'm going to need to make some phone calls." If you do, giverepparttar 127294 customer an idea of when youíll get back to him: "Later this afternoon." Or "First thing inrepparttar 127295 morning."

Then do it. Makerepparttar 127296 phone calls. Getrepparttar 127297 information. Find out what you can do for this customer and do it. Then follow up withrepparttar 127298 customer when you said you would. Even if you don't have allrepparttar 127299 information you need, call when you said you would and at least let him know what you've done, what you're working on and what your next step will be. Letrepparttar 127300 customer know that he and his business are important to you, that you understand his frustration, and that you're working hard to get things fixed.

Userepparttar 127301 tools of respect and empathy, andrepparttar 127302 "crackrepparttar 127303 egg" process, and you'll move your professionalism up a notch. ###

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Direct Selling in Today's Tough Markets

Written by Terry Edwards

Continued from page 1

[J] Understood!

[T] Just to reinforce my thoughts on change, just think about this.....Years agorepparttar Pony Express took 18 days to get a message from east coast to west. If our email takes 18 seconds today, we're calling tech support to find out what's wrong! Times have changed dramatically in all areas and selling is no exception.

[J] Is there one particular method or technique that you find is still in common use in many businesses, which should not be used in today's marketplace.

[T] There are lots, but there is one particular methodology which I hear about all too frequently and is worth "putting it to bed" right now. It's a very tired old idea which you may have heard of or some may even be working...heaven forbid!

It goes like this: The sales process is split into three main areas: Warm up, presentation ofrepparttar 127259 product, then close.

In other words,repparttar 127260 seller "warms up"repparttar 127261 buyer with a little friendly chat aboutrepparttar 127262 weather, golf, holidays etc. He then moves on to demonstrate his product, showingrepparttar 127263 features and benefits and whyrepparttar 127264 buyer should choose this product over any other one inrepparttar 127265 marketplace.

The buyer then moves on torepparttar 127266 "tough bit" (the close) and normallyrepparttar 127267 conversation goes from being pleasant and open to one with both parties twitching and getting more tense byrepparttar 127268 minute.

[J] I hate to admit this Terry, but I've seen this method taught recently at a seminar I attended!

[T] I know it still goes on and in a way I'm glad you've seen this. It's old hand-me-down stuff. But, without question, in this day and age, this form of selling is nonsense. Let's put these tired old ideas to bed quickly by asking you to think back to your schooldays.....

[J] Just a few years ago!

[T] Me too! At breakfast, your Mum gave you your bowl of cereal and sprinkled a spoonful of wheatgerm flakes on top. You didn't noticerepparttar 127269 wheatgerm and you never questioned your Mum as to why she added these flakes. Just think, if Mum had let you finish your cereal and then popped a spoonful of dry flakes in your mouth! You'd have coughed, choked and spluttered and Mum would not have beenrepparttar 127270 most favourite person onrepparttar 127271 block!

So it is with professional closing. If you separaterepparttar 127272 "closing" part,repparttar 127273 buyer will choke. Make it a little more palatable for him. Just a little closing sprinkled throughoutrepparttar 127274 presentation and he'll not even notice!

[J] Wow, that's a powerful analogy - I like that!

[T] Conversational, matter-of-fact closing throughoutrepparttar 127275 meeting is a technique that's invisible torepparttar 127276 buyer. It's methodology for today's markets.

[J] So, that's howrepparttar 127277 top salesmen do it?

[T] It is, but I bet if you asked a top salesman how he closes business, he'd scratch his head and probably be unable to give you a precise answer. I guarantee though, that his methodology was so rock solid that there was probably no need to "closerepparttar 127278 sale". It was a "done deal" part way through.

[J] So,repparttar 127279 message forrepparttar 127280 salesperson is "get updated" then?

[T] What I'd say is this, Jan, if you don't know how to sprinklerepparttar 127281 wheatgerm on your cereal, or you don't automatically integrate your closing, then you must be on "happy pills" to keep smiling after all those rejections!

[J] If they weren't before, they may be now! Well, Terry, It's been a real eye-opener speaking to you. Thanks for your time.

[T] Just a thought to finish our discussion, Jan. For your next appointment........... Why not use a "which would you prefer" question early on inrepparttar 127282 meeting?

Like, "Nice to see you, Mr Jones. May I ask...would you like your wheatgerm sprinkled so you'll hardly notice it, or would you prefer me to give it to you atrepparttar 127283 end, all in one mouthful, so that you cough and choke for ten minutes?"

Only a joke. Honest!

Terry Edwards, author of "How to Sell in Today's Tough Markets" and Principal of Direct Selling Masterclass - the leading "hands-on"direct sales training Company, based UK but working worldwide. ~~~~ Selling it like it is ~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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