Get to Know Your Nasty Customers

There are tough customers, and then there are nasty customers - the ones who are rude, sarcastic, intimidating, mean, and vulgar. Nasty customers are the curse of new salespeople and veterans alike, and although you think you can handle any type of customer, there are some myths that need to be rectified when dealing with Mr. or Ms. Nasty. 

Myth #1: The customer is always right. Nasty customers toy with you; they lie; they tell you your competitor is selling the item for less. Don't back down when you catch them at their game. 

Myth #2: Always be helpful. Sometimes you can't afford the time to engage in give-and-take with a nasty customer. You will resent the time you send in countering a bad attitude or spitefulness. Be clear about what you are willing to listen to or do. If this doesn't work, other customers are waiting for you to help them. 

Myth #3: Satisfied customers are loyal customers. Just because nasty customers get satisfaction doesn't mean you'll see them again. And do you really want them to come back?

Myth #4: A customer who shops for price buys on price. Often a combative, nasty customer can be reined in with an explanation of benefits. Develop a need in that customer; talk about added value and service. Create a desire for your product - at a price you quote. 

Myth #5: Nasty customers are nasty human beings. Not always. Try to appeal to their other side. Get them to smile or to laugh. Try to establish a rapport that has nothing to do with the sales interaction. It's difficult to be nasty to someone you see as a fellow human. 

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