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Sales Training: How to Handle an Upset Customer

Here are some tried and true measures for dealing with upset or angry customers:

1. Acknowledge the other person’s anger quickly.
Nothing adds more fuel to someone’s fire than having their anger disregarded. The faster you verbally recognize their anger, the better.

2. Make it clear that you’re concerned.
Let them know you’re taking the situation seriously. Make note of every single detail they give you.

3. Don’t hurry them.
Be patient, and let them get it all out. Never try to interrupt. In most cases, the best move is to simply listen while they vent.

4. Keep calm.
Don’t make things worse by getting yourself upset.

5. Ask questions.
Your aim is to determine what, specifically, can do to correct the problem. Try to get precise information about the difficulties the problem caused.

6. Get them talking about solutions.
This is where you’ll learn just how reasonable the client is. By the time you get to this step, their anger should have cooled enough to discuss the challenge rationally. If it hasn’t, tell them you want to schedule a later meeting, even if it’s in an hour, to come up with some reasonable solutions.

7. Agree on a solution.
After you know exactly what the problem is, you’re in a position to look for some kind of action that will relieve the challenge. Propose a specific resolution.

8. Agree on a schedule.
Once you’ve agreed on a solution, set up a schedule for its accomplishment. Agree to a realistic timeframe that you know you can handle. The biggest mistake you can make is to agree to something that can’t be done.

9. Meet your schedule.
Give this schedule top priority – You’ve talked yourself into a second chance with this client, so make sure you don’t blow it. Once you’ve satisfied the client with regard to this situation, you’ll have earned another opportunity to serve their needs in the future, as well as the needs of those they’ll tell of how well you handled it.

Interested in receiving more sales training tips? Check our the web seminar recap from this week’s free web seminar Strategies for Sales Professionals. This one-hour web seminar covered the 5 attributes of highly successful sales professionals, managing price expectations/price objections, and understanding your potential buyers (and their roles).

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