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How to Say No to a Customer in a Positive Way

It’s key to build relationships with customers, when working as a salesperson, to develop the good will needed to execute deals. But if you have to say no to a customer, you could anger them, damaging the relationship. Big Motoring World explains how to say no to a customer in a positive way.

Always be polite

Likeability is a core characteristic of good salespeople, as consumers are more receptive to people they like. To maintain this likeability, be polite when saying no. Adopt a soft, friendly tone of voice and use subtle language. Try turning the no into a positive e.g. by showing consumers how to get a yes via paying for extra services, allowing you to resolve the conflict to both parties’ satisfaction.

Ask questions

Never assume you know what a customer wants. This is one of the core principles of sales and it applies here, as if you assume why the customer is making an unreasonable request, you may position your reply incorrectly, eliciting anger. Ask the customer why they’re making a particular request when saying no, so you can understand what they really want, leading you to find an alternative solution…

Create a solution

One way to assuage a customer’s anger is to create a solution for their issue. If you’re a car sales person, for example and your customer is unsuitable for their desired financing option, point them towards another one instead.  By explaining how your solution is better than the one the customer wanted, using positive language, you could actually convince them they’re getting a better deal.

Stand firm

Yes, be polite and subtle when you tell a customer no, but you also need to stand firm. If you start caving to their demands, you could end up going against company policy. You should try explaining your reasons for saying no e.g. telling a customer that you don’t sell their desired brand of car, so they understand why the request is unreasonable.

Escalate the issue

There will often come a point, during this kind of exchange, where the customer asks to see your boss. There is this conception among consumers that sometimes, they need to go to someone with more authority to get a yes. If you have exhausted all options, don’t wait, escalate the issue to your manager yourself. They have more experience saying no positively, so doing this could help you save the deal.

Consider the request

It’s really important that when you’re denying a customer’s request, you don’t appear to be doing so out of hand. If this happens, your prospect could believe that you’re being unreasonable, leading them to think that they could receive a better deal elsewhere. Make sure that you try to accommodate the customer’s request, without traversing company policy, to ensure you can still seal the deal.

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