Kins Solomon said, "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult." (Proverbs 12:16 NIV)
Customers will often make little remarks that may hurt our feelings or make us defensive. One adage says, “The customer is not always right, but he is always the customer.”
Try to discern if there is a legitimate complaint behind a customer’s comment; if so, ask for more detail. Otherwise, turn the other cheek and overlook the insult. In one lunch place I frequented, some customers alleged that the meatloaf caused heartburn. Gus, the owner, always replied with a smile, “Yes, but it is such good heartburn.” When someone said the glasses and dishes were worn, Gus replied, “True, but if I bought new dishes I would need to raise the prices, and you would be the first to complain.”
One time when I was negotiating for a lower price on a product, I was pressing hard and I mentioned that similar products were available at a lower price. “True,” the salesperson said, “but we believe in our product, and we believe we have demonstrated the added value. Some customers, who are focused on getting the lowest price, will buy from our competitors. But customers who appreciate the difference in quality pay our higher price based on the added value.” Even when I pushed pretty hard, the salesperson kept his cool, and at the end of the meeting, he won the business, at his price.
Adopting a non-combative attitude and demeanor will land far more business than if you allow a perceived insult to start a test of wills.
Kins Solomon also wrote, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1 NIV)
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach
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