Getting Sales from Difficult Clients
There are some clients who you believe will be a natural sell. They would strongly benefit from your product and have the means to purchase your product. But regardless of how perfect a fit the product is, they remain resistant. When you have a client who is resistant to your marketing efforts, do not give up.
One of the most common reasons for why a sales representative is simply not clicking with a customer comes down to the representative not listening to the customer. When making a sales pitch, the representative might be convinced of exactly what will excite the prospective client and close the sale. Meanwhile, your customer continues to focus on another issue, such as how the product will be shipped.
The problem, fundamentally, is that you are assuming you know what will motivate a customer to purchase the product and the fact that you are misunderstanding the customer is exactly what is causing the customer not to what to buy from you. Pay close attention to what your customer appears to be interested in and try to find a way to accommodate your customer.
In order to demonstrate that you understand the customer, you will want to listen carefully and show empathy. Maintain eye contact and use body language to demonstrate that you are hearing and emotionally responding to what the client is telling you. Lower your voice and slow down your speech, especially if the customer is irate. By remaining firm, the customer will be less likely to try to take advantage of what he or she might perceive as fear. Taking this approach suggests to the client that there is no emergency and that the client’s issue will be handled in an efficient manner.
Undergo Special Training
One of the best ways to prepare employees for the challenges of handling is through influence training. Several experts and distinguished professors have published research that has been used to create influence models. Models have been developed that allow for people to influence others without the need for authority. This is essential when trying to motivate clients to act without triggering the instinct of rebellion.
Respect All Customers
While there are some customers who are difficult because you are not using the correct strategy, there are other customers who are difficult with everyone. These include customers who are very picky, customers who are constantly looking for faults in everything, and customers who are very egocentric. Regardless of how difficult it is to work with a customer, your employees will get much further if they remember to continue to be respectful at all times.
Focus On Solving The Problem
Ignore how you feel about the customer and focus instead on listening about how the customer feels. Identify the problem that your customer is experiencing and then focus on solving the problem. Often, companies will have a specific process or approach they’ve designed within a workflow software. This ideally spells out the exact steps a sales representative should take, from the initial contact to the final legal documentation at the end.
For those who do not have this process already mapped out, one initial tactic is to explain the problem as you understand it to the customer. If he or she sees that you understand the problem, this may help the customer calm down and realize that he or she is communicating with someone who understands the issue. However, if you do not understand the actual issue that your customer is facing, by attempting to explain it, your customer will have the opportunity to correct you and will allow you to avoid causing any additional unnecessary conflict or cause you to lose the sale.
Difficult customers are inevitable. However, businesses that learn how to effectively handle difficult customers will be much more profitable and will close far more sales than their competitors.
By: Dennis Hung
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