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Never Say No to a Customer!

Author: Ian Segail

"To my customer: I may not have the answer, but I'll find it. I may not have the time, but I'll make it. I may not be the biggest, but I'll be the most committed to your success." - Unknown

Last weekend I took my two boys out for pizza to a new gourmet takeaway pizza place that has recently opened in our neighbourhood. My youngest son does not like to have pizza sauce on his pizza. So when I ordered I asked the young lady taking the orders if she would be able to arrange a and . Half with sauce and half without.

"No, we don't do and 's " she told us. She may just as well have said, "we don't want your business, it's just too fussy!"

Needless to say we left and went to find another pizza place that were more than happy to take our "fussy" order.

This is an obvious situation whereby I could have been helped but wasn't. There are times however, where the customer comes in looking for a particular item which we just don't have. What then? What do you do when you cannot immediately satisfy the customer's need, because perhaps your store has sold out or does not stock a particular item, or the customer needs the next size up and you don't have it?

Lets face it, no customer ever likes to hear the word "No"! This is a word that they believe is their exclusive domain. Despite this, many 'average' retail sales people simply say, "no" to the customer "No, I am sorry but we don't stock anything like that here." Saying no to a customer means that the money invested to bring that customer in to the store has just gone to waste.

According to the late Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart "there is only one boss - the customer - and he/she can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."

Would you say no to your boss? The chances are great that you wouldn't (assuming that the request was not totally unreasonable). When you say "no" to the customer you become part of their problem and not their solution.

When I work with retail store managers, we teach them that they are the only ones that should say no to a customer if circumstance or company policy dictates. Did you know that the Norwegian word for sale is derived from the word selje, which means to serve? It is part of the sales person's role to find a way to say YES!

Make a decision that you will never say "no" to a customer no matter what. Decide that you will always attempt to show them alternative products or help them find an alternative solution, which they may not have known even existed. When you follow this approach it saves both you and the customer time, effort and in some cases money.

Never saying no also means that you can manage to meet the customer's requirements and can still keep them as happy customers. When you say no you risk the customer finding the item in another store and thereby losing out on a sale. Remember the maxim: "If we don't take care of the customer... somebody else will!"

About the Author:

As one of Australia's leading authorities and coaches in sales management, Ian Segail has been involved in the coaching, training and development of sales managers and salespeople for over two decades. Drawing on 25 years of experience in sales, sales management and leading an HR and training team, Ian brings a strong dose of fiscal reality and practicality to his works as a Sales Performance Coach. Engaging directly with business owners and both novice and experienced sales managers alike, across a wide variety of industries and selling disciplines, the focus of Ian's work is to transform sales results for companies by improving sales management practices. Ian is the author of "Bulletproof Your Sales Team - The 5 Keys To Turbo-Boosting Your Sales Team's Results" and a number of business articles, business reports and white papers including "The fish stinks from the head!" and "Why Sales Training Doesn't Work." Ian has an insatiable hunger for studying selling and people management and has passionately pursued answers to the question "How come some people can sell and most can't?" Access great resources and information from


Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Never Say No to a Customer!

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