Today I was in Staples at the checkout counter. (You know, no matter how “enlightened” you are, there are times when someone gets the best of you.)
The salesclerk asked the customer if he wanted a bag and the customer went off. “Doesn’t every customer get a bag?” he asked. Next he got into it with the debit machine. It was too slow for him. The clerk was cool, but I was beginning to get really annoyed. I would have loved to have told him to shove off. We can’t expect salespeople to know how to handle angry customers but he did a great job.
Have you ever been in a situation like this?
Before you know it, your “button” has been pushed, and suddenly you wish you could eat your words. It’s tempting to want to preserve your good name or make statements to defend yourself. It’s only natural but there are more strategic ways to handle these encounters.
Here are five ways to stay ahead of someone’s anger.
First, take a deep breath and keep your thoughts to yourself. You don’t have to answer immediately. I know it sounds a bit simplistic but why make it complicated? You will thank yourself immediately. I know this doesn’t sound easy, but it really is. Once you take a deep breath it gives you a moment to respond by asking the right questions not responding to the allegations. Sure you have to “think about on your feet” but it’s something we should all learn. Every time you respond to these comments, you have acknowledged that there’s probably some truth to them. Most likely, they’re true for the person slinging the mud, but why must they be to you?
Get one step ahead of the argument. You do this by asking for an example of the behavior they’re accusing you of. This forces them to think and gives you more time to relax and format your response. When this happens you are also in a better position to evaluate the rationality of the accusation.
Why not be receptive to suggestions as to how you can address their concerns. Why not ask, what have I to lose? It shows you’re willing to learn. Just the fact that you are willing to learn will dispel their anger. Don’t be afraid to listen to what is being said, not how it feels. When our feelings get attacked, we go on the defense.
Shove your indignant feelings aside and be inquisitive. Remember, the person that asks questions is in control. The minute you start answering questions, you’re on the wrong side of the argument. Try to understand the allegations on a higher level are if you were defending someone else.
If someone is really angry, take the deep breath and ask if you can start over. This allows the other person to also back in control. Remember they are angry because they are also feeling threatened. Many people aren’t logical and when they’re upset they only know how to express themselves on an emotional level. It’s not personal. #trainingsalespeople #controlling anger
Watch what you say, you may have to ‘eat those words.’
Sure this takes practice and thoughtfulness on your part. Once you learn how to stay in control of your emotions, life becomes a lot easier. Does your team need training on controlling their anger?
Lisbeth Calandrino has been coaching businesses be more productive and strategic. To learn more about Lisbeth, visit her web site at www.lisbethcalandrino.com, or reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat? Many say they have their greatest ideas in the middle of the night but most just have anxiety. They are probably dealing with the three P’s: People, Problems and Planning. If you must, write them down in the notebook you keep under your pillow. This is not the time to solve world problems. The mind needs to relax and get refreshed so it can deal with these issues during the day time.
Hey, I’m holding a brainstorming session at TISE. It’s called the Retailer’s Forum and I have 4 retail panelists who have some ideas for the three “P’s.” I have an outline of our topics, bring your ideas and expect to go home with some solutions.
Here’s the link for TISE https://tisewest.com/. Here’s the session information. It’s an hour and a half long so bring that notebook and your ideas so we can talk about employee issues, online marketing, installation concerns and how to get more business. Check this link and you can sign up for the Retailer’s Forum and connect with our retail panel.
Are you wondering how to get the most out of a trade show? If so, watch this video. http://bit.ly/2izWAFN.
CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU THERE! CHECK ON THE REST OF MY SEMINARS AT TISE. #TISE
Lisbeth has been helping businesses increase their customer base and develop new business strategies for over 20 years. Reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are over. Now what? Are you planning your next sale? It’s time for more than a sales; it’s time to give your customer something special. Of course you can thank them for your business but that’s not very personal. Thanking them for your business is a good thing; how you say it is another thing.
What do you think they would say if you asked what type of gifts they would like? Would they want cheaper prices or more sales? A recent European study by Qualtrics and Engage Business Media could provide some clues as to what customers might consider ‘good gifts’ or the best type of gifts.
The article points to actually getting more personal with the customer. Sound strange? It’s hard to build a relationship on cheaper prices. Letting someone know you care about them is a very important gift. What we’re talking about is improving your customer service. The better you treat me the more I know you care about me and my business.
You can send them a personal note telling them how important they are to you what you are willing to do to improve your relationship.
Here are three things they suggest; they are:
The Gift of Confidence
Knowing that you can be trusted and will be there to give them the advice they need. There are no guarantees in life for anything but being there when times get tough is a great gift. Are you up on your product knowledge and story policies?
The Gift of Time
Are you always busy? We all get bogged down and run out of time but how can you make time for your customers? Always try and answer your phone if possible; if not call back within the same day. If you can be available to your customers when they need you, it’s a huge gift.
The Gift of Quick
Hat’s off to those who pick up their phones instead of sending everything to voice mail. When you send my message to voice mail, I just want to call someone else. By the way, this is what your customer does. Voice mail is the good and bad news for all of us.
Thanking them for their business is important but what does that really mean? In order to do business they have to trust and like you; how about thanking them for their trust?
Do you need to make ‘more time?’ Does your team need more training in time management? If so call Lisbeth and discuss what you need.
Worrying is like rearranging the chairs on the Titanic deck. Nothing good is going to happen but it keeps you busy. We as a whole stress. The same great apparatuses our cerebrum uses to envision new developments and tackle complex issues, additionally has a propensity for searching for inconvenience – notwithstanding when it may not exist.
Mid-terms, spending overwhelms, bug checks, first dates, execution uneasiness – stress likes to stick its nose into each part of our lives. Regardless of how senseless or improbable a situation may appear, it is genuine to you. Numerous have attempted to conquer it totally, and some incredible bosses may have. Yet, for whatever remains of us, having some straightforward procedures to reduce or work with our stresses can positively affect our lives.
1 – Schedule time to stress. Regularly if your mind realizes that you would prefer not to stress at this moment, yet you will permit it an opportunity to stress later, the stresses will leave. Plan 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes at night to simply stress. Ordinarily, you won’t discover anything to stress over, yet it’s an approach to get the brain to concentrate on things on your time span.
2 – Wipe them away. One trap is to envision a windshield wiper spreading and wiping ceaselessly the stress. At the point when the picture of the stress comes into your head, picture a wiper washing forward and backward, wiping it away. More often than not after two or three times, it will leave, in any event for a brief period.
3 – Write out a rundown of stresses. Bunches of self-improvement strategies spin around composing things out. Simply the demonstration of putting things down on paper can reduce tensions.
4 – Do something about it. All the more frequently then not, the genuine errand or circumstance that we stress over ends up being a great deal less upsetting than we envisioned. In the event that you bounce in and attempt to make a move, even only a little thing, the force and demonstration of pushing ahead will reduce or mitigate the stress.
5 – Don’t lie alert. In the event that you observe that you tend to stress amidst the night, don’t simply remain in quaint little inn the uneasiness defeat you. Get up and make a move. Utilize one of the initial 4 strategies, or your own particular most loved procedure, to get it out of your head. Stresses have a tendency to end up increased when we’re drained – and the dim and stillness of a room around evening time may not help much either. Evil spirits, genuine and envisioned, love that kind of thing.
Your stresses are your own, and something you may need to live with, similar to a truly irritating houseguest. Discovering approaches to manage them might be your redeeming quality, since a few houseguests can take a clue, while others simply don’t know when to take off.
Lisbeth has been helping businesses worry less for the past twenty years. To help your team get out of the funk, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
Have you ever gone back into your past and looked into the future; did you say, “How did I get here?”
Try it. It’s a very interesting exercise; it’s taking a good look at who you’ve become. Do you wonder why you chose the path you’ve taken? Are you wondering where you will be in your next future? Are you where you want to be? The more you look the more questions you will have.
Many years ago I went to school in Washington, D.C. I used to take the bus to school and talked with this woman who told me she owned a large furniture store. She also said it was very successful but her grown son wasn’t interested in taking it over. Would I come and look at it?
I went to look at it and it was exactly what she said; big and beautiful. I had actually never seen one that nice. I grew up in the country and we never went shopping in NYC for anything. I only went to visit my cousins in the Bronx.
We continued to talk and she invited me to dinner; she was like an aunt—a smart one. Eventually she asked if I would be interested in working with her and learn the business. Eventually she would make me a partner! I was overwhelmed. A graduate student with a part -time job gets an offer like this. She said she knew I was smart and a born salesperson—she was right on that! I remember calling my parents and talking with them. Of course they advised me to talk with a lawyer but I should certainly try it out.
I passed on it. I think I was scared of the responsibility. Of course years later I actually went into the carpet and furniture business with two other partners.
As I look back, I think about the opportunity that I passed on. How different would my life have been? It would have been the road less traveled, but why not? How many other opportunities have you passed on? Do you make the same mistakes?
I’m aware that real opportunities don’t come along that often. I didn’t give this one enough time to ‘settle in.’ I have always been responsible, what was scary about this opportunity?
Looking back doesn’t mean ‘wanting to go back;’ it means evaluating where you’ve been and looking to where you might want to go. It’s a good thing to do. None of us know how much time we really have so why not take advantage of what’s out there?
Remember, your future is before your very eyes.
Lisbeth has been a business and life coach for over 20 years. She has proven that here insights are are very useful to her clients. To book a conversation with her, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
Few businesses see customers as anything but customers. They think their How many businesses think about customers as friends? Businesses spend time figuring out types of products to sell their customers but do they worry about whether their customers like them? These days being likable are one of the best brands building strategies a company can have.
I remember when I was in business; customers would come in and say, “I wish I needed something, so I could buy it from you.” Even then, I knew that I had a special relationship with these customers and valued their friendship. If you have customers like this, you need to see them as more than customers. I used to do training for a company in Minnesota. They had a salesperson who never took ‘an up’ on the floor. All of her customers were referrals, and she treated them like they were best friends. She worked five days a week, was the highest earner in the company. She took one day a week with her family and the other day she spent with her customers! She had lunch with them, shopped with them and played golf with them.
Here customers were no longer faceless, they had become friends. Some were dear friends. She said she loved them all and knew they would help her build her business. She was right. She started inviting these friends to her home and many to family dinners. I don’t know about you, but no business owner has ever invited me to dinner!
It’s tough being a good friend and who needs all the extra stress? A good friend cares about your needs and is always there for you. Not just in times of need but just available when you want to talk.
However, good friends never forget you and are always on your side. What else does a business need?
Do you need help turning customers into friends? Lisbeth has been helping businesses improve their customer relationships for over twenty years. Need help, call 518.495.5380.
Procrastinating is something we all do; it’s one of those things you’re not proud of. You look at your long list of important tasks and all of a sudden it’s time to pet the cat or take the dog for a walk. Don’t you wonder where that comes from?
In order to stop procrastinating, you have to rethink what you’re doing. You may have heard these things before but so what.According to Psychology Today, “For some, the very thought of taking a responsible path—where self-care includes “grown up” tasks—threatens to squelch vitality, and foreclose the boundless possibility associated with youth.”
- Deadlines are your friend. Instead of a long list of things to do, just note in your reminder the day something has to be done. Now you don’t have a choice or anytime to worry about it.
- Do the hard stuff first. It’s not really hard, you’ve just decided it is. Maybe it takes a lot more time to get it done or you just don’t like it. It reminds you of homework.
- Stop telling yourself lies. You know the ones that things aren’t really important and what you do doesn’t matter. Whatever you do should always matter to you.
- Get off Facebook–you know if you added up the time you spent on there you could probably get way more done. It is a time waster. Lonely? Call a customer.Your imaginary friends with the perfect lives will still be there in a couple of hours.
- Decide what to do with your emails. I read them once, twice and three times for good measure and leave them in my inbox–that’s crazy.
- Start anywhere. Sometime starting is half the battle. Just start writing and fix it as you go along.
- Okay, so you’re not perfect. Suppose it isn’t perfect so what? And perfect by what standards? I used to get criticized because I didn’t do things perfectly. At one point I realize that getting it done was where I could shine. So if it wasn’t perfect I could fix it. I’ve noticed that many things online aren’t perfect and they’re written by ‘supposedly perfect people.’
Pretend you like getting things done; my mother said it’s good for you!
Lisbeth Calandrino has been an author and speaker for over 20 years. To have her speak at your business, connect with her–Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
Haven’t heard her speak? Check out her web, www.lisbethcalandrino. If you can’t find Lisbeth, she’s probably at the gym or procrastinating.
Don’t we all have awful days? You know, the dreaded day you fail. Failure can scare the wits out of most of us.
You know the day when you thought you were going to make that huge sale and then it disappeared? You go over it again and again in your mind asking yourself, “What did I do wrong?”
You ask yourself, what should I have said that I didn’t? You spend the whole day ruminating about what happened and where you went wrong.
You know it doesn’t help right? It doesn’t help because you only have one side of the story, your side. You have no idea what was going on with the customer even though you think you do. You feel paralyzed.
Failure can actually be a trigger to motivate you to success. Scary right?
Think about the Beetles, they were told in 1962 that Decca records didn’t like their sound. Decca was one of the biggest labels at the time—they must know best right? And then there was Stephen King who was told that no one wanted to see a science fiction movie that was depressing! Somehow Stephen found his place.
How can you make it work? Here are some ideas:
- Accept what just happened, it’s part of life. It only happens to those who step outside their little comfort zone. Those who want something different and are willing to accept an occasional set back. When I was a kid, my next door neighbor was very good at predicting the summer weather. I wanted every day to be hot so I could go swimming.I can remember how disappointed I was when it rained. Sam always said to me, “There will always be another day for you. If you try long enough, you will get what you want.” I have never forgotten that advice. It came from a man who spent 10 long years in the New York Hospital for the Incurables in 1935 with a collapsed spine. In 1958 he bought his first house in the country despite his disability.
- Wanting things to be different doesn’t change anything! Looking to change the past is a depressive strategy. Nothing ever changes in the past no matter how hard you wish for it. Wallowing in it never makes it better. I have a friend who is never happy. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing, she’s unhappy. She only goes to work and the grocery store. When her boyfriend visits, they only go out to the grocery store! They never go to a museum, a play or just a walk in the park. No wonder she’s depressed.
- Revise your plan of action. If the plan you have isn’t working, figure out how you might tweak it. Don’t get rid of it entirely, just determine what changes you need to make and do it. What the heck, it’s only time. Remember what Sam said.
According to Charles Manz in his book, “The Power of Failure,” Manz says that failure is very often a misconception about the difference between what exists and goes unnoticed (such as growth and learning) when we fall short of reaching a goal and what is realized later (longer term success). In other words, failure is no longer fatal! Consider failure just a challenge in life.
Lisbeth Calandrino has been helping businesses rethink their failures to success for over twenty years. To have her help your team, reach her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com.
One thing you don’t want to be these days is an “average anything,” especially a salesperson. If average is good enough for you, then don’t bother finishing this article. If you plan on making money and building your customer base, you will have to be better than the rest. Competition is fierce out there; if you want to stand out, you will have to go above and beyond. Twenty years ago you could make a living being average. There wasn’t much competition or many products. These days the marketplace is overwhelmed with both. There are more than 10 ways but here are what I consider the most important ones:
1. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be a great salespeople. You’ve probably heard that extroverts make the best salespeople. Of course it’s not true, not everyone want to have a ‘motor mouth’ in their face. The best salespeople know how to go from extrovert to introvert depending on the customer’s style.The key is to be flexible. Check out this article by Erica Anderson in Forbes Magazine.
2.Stop making excuses for not making sales. Stop blaming it on the weather, the way the customer looked or the time of day. Go back to your sales pitch and determine where you think you went wrong. Hold yourself accountable and always have a ‘can do’ attitude for every customer.
3.Don’t treat your customers like they’re a commodity. You may think a customer that spends a small amount isn’t important. Not every sales will be a tremendous one but it doesn’t mean your customer doesn’t have friends with money!
4.Build more than ‘customers for life.‘ Build ‘raving fans’ and customers that will sing your praises to all of their friends. Treat every customer as of they are special. They are the lifeblood to your success.
5.When there are no customers, follow up on old ones. Call up your sold customers and ask how they’re doing. I often hear, ‘I’m not going to call them, what if something is wrong?’ Don’t you want to be the first one to know if there’s a problem or do you want everyone on their block to know?
6.Know where you stand at the end of the day. Why wait to the end of the week to know where you stand? If you pay attention daily you will know how much harder you have to work the next day to meet your goals.
7.Find as many role models as you can. Watch the rest of the team, pay close attention to the top closer. Look for the nuances and little things they do that build good customer relationships. Often times it’s something simple like a touch on the customer’s arm.
8.Think about sales when your not in your store. I have a friend that says he’s on duty 24/7. He is always looking for new customers; whether it’s in the elevator or watching his kid play soccer. To him, everyone is a potential customer. He often gets their names and email address and sends them a ‘nice to meet you’ note.
9.Service your customers to death. Not sure what to do, check out the ‘high end’ businesses in your area and see what techniques you can steal. There’s no sense in reinventing the wheel! Know your store policies and if you can, take them one step further.
10.THE SALE ISN’T OVER UNTIL THE CUSTOMER GIVES YOU A TESTIMONIAL. I have a friend who insists that his salespeople get testimonial. He considers this the most important part of the sale. It’s not always easy, not all customers are tech savvy. If the customer isn’t comfortable going online and writing one, ask them to write it on a piece of paper and you post it!
Does your team need so ‘personalized training’ to get better at their job? Lisbeth is available for ‘customized training’ for your team. If your looking for short videos from Lisbeth at Mohawk University, “Customer Experience Sold.” https://mohawktoday.com/mohawku/online-courses/customer-experience-sold for in-store training, check out these https://mohawk.wistia.com/medias/1zg0xg8kie
Do you think dropping prices are a bad idea?Long term it can be a really bad idea.
I was at a tag sale the other day and asked the woman if she considered $1.00 for a $3.00 Christmas tree. “
“ I paid $50.00 for that wreath; she yelled; $3.00 is highway robbery. I can’t give it to you for a $1.00!” There are lots of things wrong with this scenario, the first thing is if you think your price is too low to start with why would you price it so cheap? And if you price it cheap, why would you be offended when someone tries to ask for a bigger discount?”
How’s this one; another friend told me she was selling at really low prices so she could get known in the business world. Hmn, known for what?
The biggest problem with this transaction is she doesn’t have any idea how to mark her merchandise or how to sell it. Does this happen to you?
It’s likely that none of my readers are working at a tag sale, but this is a good way to start a conversation about dropping prices.
If you don’t think your product is worth your price you will have a problem selling it.
- The most obvious problem is that dropping prices give you less profit. If you continue to drop prices, you will start to believe that your products aren’t worth your ‘asking price.’ The more you believe it’s true, the less likely you are to get your asking price. Giving something away doesn’t take much skill, working hard to get your price makes you a true salesperson.
- Dropping prices gets you bad referrals. Cheap customers are easy to get; what’s not easy is to get a customer who will pay your price and send you a great referral. It’s worth it to understand your products and their value.
- Self-esteem is hard to get in life. According to Psychology Today by Neal Burton, self-confidence essentially means to trust and have faith in oneself. It is our certainty as to our judgement, ability, and so on—in short, our certainty as to our aptitude to engage with the world. Why would you take this away from yourself? For more on self-esteem, check out this article in Psychology Today.
- How will you stay in business by haphazardly dropping prices? I say ‘haphazardly’ because most businesses don’t have a system for dropping prices. In other words, they don’t have their merchandise marked up enough so that dropping prices won’t hurt their margins. They drop prices because they need the money.
- Dropping prices can bring in customers, give you cash flow and build traffic short term. Long term, you’re creating a very slippery slope. The customer takes her lead from you. Unless he/she has recently bought the same product, it’s doubtful they understand pricing in general.
Remember just because the customer says the price is high it doesn’t mean they won’t buy your product. It’s likely they are testing you to see if you understand your own pricing!
Why drop your prices when you don’t need to? Need more help on on getting your prices? How about a webinar on pricing for your company? Call Lisbeth at 518.495.5380.