An Opportunity in Disguise!

posted: Friday, April 6, 2012

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We've chosen the field of sales or the field of sales has chosen us, and obviously that means we are dealing with people on a daily basis. When you are working with people (customers) there are going to be some who are unhappy, for whatever reason. Then there are going to be customers who are irate; it is up to the professional salesperson to handle these situations. As with anything, it's not the customer's anger that is going to determine how the situation turns out. It is the salesperson's reaction to it.

A salesperson has two choices when dealing with upset customers, they can just write them off and hope they go away, or they can look at it as an opportunity. If a customer you sold an item, and it turns out the item is completely wrong, you have an opportunity to not only remedy the situation but you can also establish a repeat customer. It's obvious that the first thing you need to do is "fix" the problem by ensuring that they get exactly what they want. Once you have done that, don't just let them walk out the store because they are still going to remember the problem that made them angry, not the solution. However, if a salesperson goes above and beyond, then they have a chance to turn an upset customer into a customer for life. The salesperson could say something like, "I am happy that we were able to resolve your concerns, let me give you a polishing cloth and some cleaner for your inconvenience." What you actually offer is completely up to you but the goal remains the same: give the customer a reason to come back.

Any salesperson can sell when things are going great and everyone is happy, but that's not reality. The reality is that no matter how hard you work, there will be customers who are not initially satisfied with their experience. That doesn't mean they can't be satisfied, it's just going to take some effort on your part. Salespeople are always looking for an edge over their competition and the ability to satisfy a customer who is unhappy can provide you with the edge. A customer who comes in irate is not a problem, it's an opportunity.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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