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Dealing with Emotional Customers – A Guide

Customers who feel worried, anxious and upset can be difficult to deal with. The effort drains your energy and puts a kink in your day.

Words are powerful — we know that. But the right words are even better. The best thing you can do for an emotional customer is to tell them exactly what they want to hear.

No, not about their car. Despite what they’re saying, the car is not their underlying worry. It’s the expense of the repair that worries them — spending a lot of money on it. Or it’s the inconvenience of not having transportation when the car breaks down. Or it’s the decision they feel being forced on them — should they spend money on repairs or trade the car in for a new one?

Those are the real issues you need to talk with them about. That’s why they brought their vehicle to you. They already have some trust in you, or they wouldn’t be there.

Words matter. But you can’t bluntly say, “I understand you are probably worried about spending a lot of money, or are stressed out because of the inconvenience, or you are unsure about what to do.”

Show a little more finesse. Try saying things like this:

  • I’m sorry to hear that.
  • Wow, that sounds terrible. Let’s hope it’s not as bad as it sounds. Why don’t we find out what’s wrong before we start to worry?
  • You must be really worried about this. I would be. Let’s talk about it and then decide what to do.
  • Things like this can really make a person worry. Let’s talk it over first and see what’s going on.

Stress makes customers overreact, especially when it comes to car repair. So, first acknowledge what they’re feeling. Every great salesperson does that. They know trust dispels fear.

Saying the right words will build that trust. The next time you have an anxious customer, spend a few minutes building a bond before you start talking about mechanical details.

You might be rewarded with a pleasant day and a nice sale.

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