Joyce Del Rosario 2m 517
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
‘NO’ sounds like a simple and innocent two letter word, right? But it is a very powerful word that can make or break things. Everyone will agree with me that ‘no’ can prove to be too sticky a word. All of us want to run a successful business and for it we are ready to say to make all the sacrifices needed even to the extent of say ‘yes’ to many idiosyncrasies, but there is a limit isn’t it? Specially given the way modern businesses are running with the service industries promoting the concept of ‘Customer is right’; ‘Customer is God’ has made saying NO all the more difficult. You want to help a customer or work with a client but you just can’t do it at the cost of your company. So here are a few tips to dealing with those sticky customers without putting them off.
Now don’t start dreaming that there is a magic potion or trick one can give you to solve all your problems. There are however a few basic strategies you need to start using and given practice you might shine like the luminous moon (you know what I mean, shine without the unnecessary burden of saying yes all the time). The secret to saying No to a customer is to first listen to their problem intently and with empathy their by giving due acknowledgement to their problem. Now I am not saying that you start turning the world over (when you cannot) for them. But a little empathy can work wonders. The moment the customer feels that you are listening he feels secure.
The next step is to firmly but gently decline the offer/work/request. You have to leave no ambiguity in the mind of the customer that though you understand their concerns but there is nothing that you can do for them at the moment. Weakening now can prove to be fatal for you and your business. At the end of the day every business wants to make profit irrespective of all their statements otherwise. Buckling under pressure and saying yes might hurt you only in the long run. With time if your solution does not satisfy the customer it will affect your work.
The catch in saying ‘No’ to customer lies in the fact when you say no without being rude. A sure shot way of earning brownie points even after declining is when at the end you offer him relevant advice on where he can get help or how to go about searching for a solution. This not only softens the blow of denial but also keeps you in good regard. Human psychology has explained that all humans appreciate being given extra help. So when you are suggesting on what path to take you are doing extra work.
Once you get the hang of it, start trying. It’s not hard work or rocket science to say no to a customer but an art that you can easily master. So start following the above and bid adieu to your daily headache of saying no.
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