We’ve all encountered them — customers who demand something that you don’t have. How do you deal with them? Do you tell them outright that it is an item you don’t carry? Or, do you jump through a series of hoops to try to fill the order? We all want to make our customers happy, but the truth is: sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it isn’t, and sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle.
There are important details that need to be examined before moving forward in these situations. A good kitchen and bath sales strategy is to ask the customer for time to check on the item. As always, honesty is the best policy. If nothing else brings them back, an honest answer will.
Assess the Customer
Does this customer represent a long history of business? Do they have great potential for future business or referrals to other customers who may need your product? If it is an established customer, chances are you’ll want to try to fill their need. With others, you may realize that the effort and return on the time invested is not worth the pursuit. If it is a request you’ve never encountered before, a good kitchen cabinet sales strategy is to at least investigate to see what can be done.
Always a Judgment Call
If the item is small enough, you may have friends or business contacts that can help. If the cost, transportation or time spent is an issue, you’ll find that you’re often better off leaving it alone. Helping a customer beyond a reasonable point can lead to snares and pitfalls. It may be in your best interest to avoid the hassle of difficult requests that you feel may be repeated in the future. Ethical and legal considerations should also be considered. You may be infringing on a territory that is supposed to be exclusive. And, if it’s something that will cost you too much sales margin, the best strategy is to avoid getting involved.
Steer the Conversation
Sometimes, the item may be similar in nature to a product your stocks or can order. A good sales strategy would then be to present your comparable item as an option. Explain the similar features and benefits between your product and the other. Work with the customer on price, delivery time and other controllable areas. If you’re convincing enough, you will close the deal. If not, you’ll know that you tried.
You can’t always turn the world upside down just to please one customer. That would be counterproductive to your overall kitchen cabinet sales strategy.
There are times when you can fulfill the customer’s request and times when you cannot. If they walk away angry and withhold business as retribution, you are probably better off without them. If they leave knowing that you did your best, you’ll likely see them again.
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