What NOT to say to a customer

What not to say to a customer.

Ever had this happen to you? What not to say to a customer

You think that the sale is ‘in the bag’. Things are moving along beautifully, the person is ready to buy, all the signs are looking great — and then the sale screeches to a halt. The (future) customer starts to look disinterested, and makes up an excuse for a speedy exit.

What happened?

Did you say something from my — What Not to Say to a Customer  list?

#1. If I have to be honest …

What possesses people to use this phrase – Honestly! Does this mean that everything you say after this is honest? But everything you said prior to it was dishonest?

This phrase sets off alarm bells ringing in my head. I immediately think back through our conversation, searching for the point that you ‘became honest’.

Drop this one …. please!

#2. Are you happy browsing?

When someone says that to me, I think

‘are you happy being ignored?’.

Now before you tell me that you really prefer browsing rather than being pestered when you are shopping, I understand. I get it! But why do we assume that someone has walked through the door of a shop, with a wallet in hand, and doesn’t plan on spending anything.

Doesn’t this person have a want, a desire, a problem to be solved?

Why do we jump to the conclusion that they don’t want assistance?

If you run a store, or are at a Trade Stand, Expo or any customer-facing event  remember you are there to serve and assist. Not ignore.

Find out first if you can be of service, and let the buyer tell you they want to be left alone. Not the reverse.

#3. I just love that, it is my favourite …

I don’t care what your favourite is!

When I’m the customer, I really only care about what my needs are. And if this is your favourite product, you are probably going to bore me with endless details.

We call this – passion blindness. When we are so passionate about what we do that we gush endless details.

Back off, slow down, and don’t tell me unless I ask.

When the  Sydney Morning Herald interviewed me recently on this topic I was surprised how quickly I felt my blood pressure rising as I broke into full stride with all my frustrations at lack of good service.

What is on your list of ‘why did they say that?’ I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.

If you aren’t sure how to talk so your customers will listen — or buy – find out more details on our next sales course here.


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