I have had a bad experience.
Many of us work in highly competitive sales industries. Higher the competition, better the commissions. Higher competitions also mean we meet some customers that have had a bad experience in the past when going through a similar type of sale and interaction. Having the capability of dealing with these clients in a certain way will help you to overcome their past fears and make it easier for them to move along with you and your product. So then the question is: How do we deal with clients that have had a bad experience in the past? How do we put their concerns at ease? What are some of the things that we can do to make sure that what happened before, will not happen again?
To first find out how you can pinpoint the hurt points of the past situation, you must do a good job investigating the past experience without being too intrusive or abrasive. After the investigation, you can then focus on the problems and troubleshoot why they could have happened. Then you will be able to provide a solution and create a situation and plans in such a way that it would be impossible for that problem to be recreated while dealing with you and your product. Here are some steps that you can take to overcome this concern or issue:
Investigate the past experience:
Most of us do not like to dwell and think about past negative experiences and the same is to be said about your client. When you investigate the past situation with your client you need to address why you are asking. Tell them that you need to know as much information about your past bad experience right away so that you can make sure that it will never happen again in your contact with this client. You need to now sincerely investigate that past experience and empathetically relate to your client and their story. You need to take their point of view and truly understand what they went through. Then ask yourself would you have had the same bad experience. Being able to relate to your client is the most important part of this first step. Make sure you keep bullet points of the negative parts to the interaction so you can work through them later with the client.
Identify the” pain points”:
Now that the full story is told, you should be able to highlight the pain points of the previous negative interaction. You should always clarify each one with the client and confirm that these were the main parts to the interaction that caused this to become a bad experience. You should be able to go down the list and confirm each bullet point with the client and then you will get their true definition of a “bad experience”.
Ask the client how that process made them feel:
Most of the time negative points of the past interactions are not negative due to the action of what happened but negative because of how it left your client feeling after. If you can help your client point out negative feelings of what happened, it will be easier for you to separate that experience from yours. It will help them see that one situation has nothing to do with the other. They will then see that decisions need to be based off logic and with each situation. Give them the roulette example: Just because the ball lands on red for the last 5 rolls does not mean that it will land on red again. Every roll has the same and equal set chances of landing on red, black, or green. So if they feel negative about that past sale, thanks to your logic and plans they will be assured that there is no concrete evidence for them to feel negative about your sale and interaction.
Address client concerns:
Now that you know what your client’s concerns are, and you have a full definition of what a negative experience is, then you can start to address each concern. You need to make sure you do everything in your power to make sure that those things that happened before does not happen with you and your interaction. Address each concern and find a solution for them.
Create the final process:
Now after gathering all vital pieces of information, you can create a final presentation or process that will not allow repetition of each of those negative things mentioned before to happen. You can create plan A’s, B’s, and C’s for your client as “fail-safe” strategy to make sure that these things that happened in the past to them will never happen with you.
When it is all said and done you might want to provide proof of your deals and promises with documents like a signed letter, or a guarantee from your company. This can help your client put at ease all the negative things that were mentioned before. Providing some sort of proof is the best way to show your client that you put in the effort to make sure the situation is a positive one and is completely separate from past negative experiences.
These are the things that you can do to work though a negative experience. Keep them happy and work with your clients as a guide to a better experience and interaction.