Sound pleasantly surprised

Many salespeople or accidental salespeople (customer service people, counter staff, front of house people) have a real hang-up about handling the problems and reservations customers give us when they want to say no to the product or service we’re offering them.

This allergy is particularly prevalent when cross selling or up-selling in a retail environment.

Here’s a great idea. Sound pleasantly and genuinely surprised.

After an arduous 18 hour journey from my home in the UK to Bangladesh earlier this year, I finally settled into the Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka. Feeling slightly peckish, I dialed Room Service and ordered a light meal. The chap at the end of the phone asked if I wanted something to drink. My room was swimming in bottled water so I politely declined.

“You don’t want anything to drink?” came the reply in an honest, genuine raised tone of voice.

I thought, how clever and non-threatening since this made me challenge myself and order a diet coke.

So next time you offer something to a customer and they decline, just sound pleasantly surprised and you’ll be amazed at the response you’ll get.