Why NOT Do What the Customer Asks


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The customer is not always right and you should NOT always do what they ask.

Hopefully you know your products and services better than your customers. For this reason, you must remain the expert when it comes to recommending how and when these products and services should be used. Sometimes a customer will ask for and possibly even demand a product or service that you know is not the best choice for them. This can pose an interesting dilemma. There can be a tendency to avoid rocking the boat by telling the customer that a different selection would be better, especially if you feel you could be putting your sale in jeopardy.

I was recently reminded of this lesson in two sales close encounters of my own. As with many companies, my customer saw my product selections (in my case my seminars and keynotes) on the web. They decided on a program title they liked. From past experience I knew that another program was better for their group. I told them such but when they said they still wanted the other program, I reluctantly agreed. This was a mistake. As I anticipated, the program was not a good fit for the group and the results were less than stellar. I deeply regretted not standing firm in my recommendation to the client. Yes, I could have lost the business, but for me and for you which is more important, losing a sale or losing a reputation? The answer to that one is easy.

Fast forward a few months later and another client. This time the program was right but I knew the venue was wrong. I confidently recommended a change in venue. The client was very open to suggestions and agreed. In this case, it was not even my ‘product’ that was in consideration. It was the parameters of use of the product. Can you think of an example of this for your product line? When you confidently tell your clients how to use your products and services, you move past salesperson to consultant which is a whole different level of relationship. So what were the results of this encounter? It was a fantastic event and I knew the results were impacted positively by the change in venue.

When you have been in business for over 18 years as I have, there is a temptation to think you have done it all, seen it all, and learned it all. Perhaps for you like me, old lessons sometimes have to rear their ugly head and smack us in the face to remind us of how important they are. Remembering that I am the expert in my field and know what is best for my clients is important to my success and theirs. How can your customers and clients benefit from hearing you ‘enforce’ your expertise?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Teresa Allen
Teresa Allen is a nationally recognized customer service speaker and customer service author. Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm focused on bringing common sense to business and life. Allen is author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty.


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