Let me start by saying I LOVE sports. I believe anybody who is a competitor, is drawn in by those who strive to reach the highest level of a sport they are passionate about. When playing a professional sport, an athlete would never neglect practice. They would never choose the easiest, low-pressure scenarios as preparation for actual games. They push their bodies beyond the limit and that’s why they are the best. If they only took slow, steady grounders in the infield, they probably wouldn’t win a game or have a job for much longer.
The same scenario applies to contractors in the service business. It’s not the easy, friendly customers that you need to worry about. It’s how you respond to the ones who throw difficult curve balls that separates you from your competition.
Using the strategies below, you can anticipate conversation-stoppers or deal-killers, and break on through to create productive and profitable working relationships with your clients.
They Come By Many Different Names & Games
You will start to notice patterns in the types of frustrating answers that potential clients throw back at you. You can name them and tape those labels to the wall (where no customer would ever see them!) if that helps motivate you and your team. I have certainly noticed these repeat types of objections or challenges you hear from customers on a service call, and I’ve applied my own set of labels to them. I’ll share some of them here:
– The Gatekeeper wants you to tell him all your prices upfront and then he’ll go talk to his wife and get back to you.
– The Apple Buyer got a full proposal from another company and just wants to know your price.
– Mr. Stuck in the Past tells you he had it fixed during the Nixon years for $187 and asks if that’s still the price.
– The Broke Ass just spent a load of money on his gold-lined Jacuzzi and now has nothing left for the house electrical.
– Mystification Man tells you everything’s working fine right now but he just wants to get it checked out.
– The Know-It-All informs you that he’s already figured out exactly what the problem is and that’s all he wants done.
There’s a lot more of these colorful characters but they all really have more in common than not. The good news is that you only have to stick with a small set of simple, strong principles in order to take back control of the interaction and create outcomes worthy of the professional, pure motive service that you and your company are providing.
Continue reading “Caution Ahead: Getting Through Tricky Customer Interactions”