Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. No matter what the product or service is that you’re selling, everyone has come into contact with a client that had very unreal expectations. It’s undeniable and what separates a salesperson from a “great” salesperson is their ability to handle these issues.
Everyone has their own strategies and their own plan on how to handle these clients. These are a few different ideas to consider the next time that you feel overwhelmed by your client.
Set your expectations prior to the relationship.
While this seems pretty self-explanatory, not all salespeople are thinking this way. Every sale comes with a notch toward their quota, and every dollar in their pocket leads to a larger commission percentage. It’s all about the almighty dollar. So, before you jump into a relationship with a client, it’s best to set expectations and understand their motives before even selling. You may see some red flags early that you wish you did 9 months into it!
Keep open and honest dialogue.
Many salespeople are great for attracting new clients through cold calling, email blasts, and other forms of prospecting. Once they have their clients the necessity to respond immediately to their questions and concerns starts to dwindle away. It doesn’t help the quota, so the majority of their effort should be put into hitting the quota, right? Wrong.
A client may be overbearing, but you need to make sure it’s not because of something you’ve done. If you keep in constant contact with your clients, respond to their needs quickly and always be honest, that need for the client to be over the top may start to fade away, especially noticing the effort you’re putting in.
Manage your time appropriately.
This goes without saying for any salesperson, but managing your time with an “over the top” client can go a long way. Chances are if you are a successful salesperson this isn’t your only client. There are only so many hours in a day that you need to be able to allocate your time wisely to continue to grow your book of business and help those you already have. Menial tasks that do not benefit you or even the best for your client need to be addressed as such. Make sure that whatever your client needs from you, or asks of you, is clear and concise so that you can make sure you find the time to help them.
Understand when to say no.
This is a biggie. It’s a very difficult line to teeter and must be approached very cautiously. It can, however, be your biggest ally. There are only so many hours in a day that the time, and like I mentioned in the last point, you need to manage your time. If you are being asked to do something that you know doesn’t benefit the client like they think it will, you need to honestly articulate that to your client. The word “no” is something that has always been shunned out of sales. You do whatever you can to keep your client happy. But that’s not always the case. A good salesperson knows when something is a benefit and when something is not helpful. Use that opportunity not just to say no, but explain why you feel that doing something else might be better. It will also help with your credibility.
Use real-world examples of successes.
Piggy-backing off of all the previous points, use this to get your point across why you feel you need to go in this direction. You’re a salesperson in a specific field. All of your clients (for the most part) have dealt with something that went wrong. You now know how to fix that problem. Use those real-world examples of how you solved a problem and use that to explain to your client you know how to get it done. Let them understand that you have seen, or done this before and know the best way to solve anything they may or may not face. Use your credibility and success in proving the client can trust you and not need to be overbearing.