3d small people - I am fedHave you ever had a customer who just wouldn’t take no for an answer? They just didn’t understand that you couldn’t provide them with something – crazy right? Everyone has dealt with a customer like that. It’s the name of the game, and you’ve got to find a way to tell them “no” without losing them as a potential customer.

This is where it can get a little dicey. It’s hard to tell a potential customer that you can’t make all of their dreams come true, but you’ve got to remember that this is a business, and if you bend over backwards for everyone, you’re going to end up out of business. There are a couple of approaches you can take with these pushy customers, one being easy and another a little more difficult.

Be the good guy

Instead of approaching a situation with a customer where you have to tell them they can’t have it their way by having a negative attitude, stop, take a breath and think about the reason why it can’t happen. Most customers who put up a fight when they hear “no” are usually angry because they don’t understand the “why.”  If you come into the situation with the “facts and figures” to explain why they can’t have customized drawers, marble countertops and state of the art appliances on a $15,000 budget, they’ll probably take the news a little better.

You don’t want to come off as a person who tells a client bad news and just shuts down; you want to be their advocate.  Let them know you’re on their side and you will do the best you can with the resources and options you have.

Stand your ground

Many of you may be thinking that “the customer’s always right” mentality is still true.  We’re going to be honest with you – they aren’t always right, so you need to learn how to stand your ground. In a trade profession like kitchen and bath design, there are intricacies that the common homeowner probably isn’t aware of. Knowing that, you need to stay firm in your decisions about what you can and can’t provide a customer.

There is a sales technique called “The Rock,” and the premise is that you will need to stand strong (like a rock) and give a firm “no” when you are declining your customer’s wishes. It might be hard the first time or two, but usually after the third “no,” your customer will subconsciously understand that they can’t have their option and will accept your answer.  Sometimes it takes four or five “no’s,” but it does work.  And for the customers who storm out and tells you they don’t want to work with you… you’re probably better off.

Telling a person “no” is one of the hardest things to do in our industry, especially since we’re all bouncing back from a tough time. But if you take the right steps, and approach the situation correctly, you and your customer will have a better kitchen buying experience.