If you’re hoping to grow your business make sure your prospects aren’t on the receiving end of any of these potentially damaging behaviors.
Even if you’re currently struggling, the prospect should never feel it. Your goal is to make them believe that they need your product more than you need their business. You need to exude confidence at all times and keep the conversation focused on them and their issues. Be aware that when your needs supersede theirs’, they’ll consider your approach desperate and unprofessional.
2. Fear/trepidation when quoting price
If your product/service commands a high price you have to stand with a straight spine, look your prospect in the eye and state it firmly. The second you hesitate they’ll jump in and ask for a better deal. It’s the seller’s responsibility to ensure that the highest price possible is quoted so that company profit goals are met. Know your pricing parameters and stay within them. Proudly quote your prices.
3. Justification, Excuses or Blame
When a prospect or customer brings a problem to your attention never try to justify, make excuses for or assign blame to another person, department or vendor who didn’t deliver on time, etc. Simply stated, that’s the coward’s way. Rather, when faced with an unhappy prospect, listen until they’re finished, stay calm and ‘own’ the problem. Say something like “I understand why you’re upset, I’d be upset too. I’m not sure I’d do business with us again either. May I ask you a question? If you knew that we’ve fixed that problem and others have been happy with the results, might that be something you’d care to hear about?” Your goal is to treat them with respect, make them feel heard and understood, and then offer an option for a possible solution. All with calm kindness.
4. We can’t help you
Oh, yes you can! You can always help a prospect or customer. Even if you don’t sell the product or service they need, you can certainly find someone else that you’d recommend. Help comes in all shapes and sizes and your team should be focused on helping every potential customer they meet, every chance they get. A great book that underscores this powerful principle is “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It’s short, easy to read and I highly recommend it.
5. Information about internal struggles/issues
Don’t ever put a prospect or customer in the middle of what you’re facing internally. It’s bad business to do so. If, for example, an internal issue is making it impossible for you to make a deadline, the customer needs to be told and given options the minute you learn of it. In the end, they need to be the ones, not you, to decide if a later delivery date is acceptable. Explaining internal issues to a customer is a waste of your time; they don’t care about your problems. They only care about how you’re going to solve their problems and they expect that to be your focus, rightfully so.
Great customer service occurs when the customer feels informed, heard, understood and believes that your company always has their best interests in mind. Mistakes are inevitable; please don’t make one of the five listed above.