Is the Customer Always Right?

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Business man thinking question markWe often say that that, don’t we? And it can be a dangerous misconception.

You see, if you start with that premise that they are always right, when they mention something that you absolutely KNOW without a shadow of a doubt will harm their business (or yours) then can their viewpoint be construed as necessarly RIGHT? What if the decision they make wasn’t thought through well enough? What if you backed up that decision and the end result was wrong for the customer? Your agreeing with them may have taken them in the wrong direction.

Additionally, if you agree at all times witn the customer simply to make it seem you are a committed supplier, you will find the demands from them grow and grow, with them expecting more and more from you.

Instead, make sure that you help the customer consider any decision they are going to make. The consideration should be made on three dimensions:

Cost or investment; how much will this decision coat them in the long0-term?
Time; how long will this decision take to come to fruition?
End results; will the results be right for the customer’ business?

By asking these questions of yourself, you get the customer to recognise that the way forward may not be the way they originally planned. But by holding back simply because you live by the myth that the customer is always right could take you towards the edge of the cliff, with no way of stopping.

Be observant, be a great listener, be assertive and think what’s right for their business. The customer who is wrong will forgive you in the long-term.

Happy Selling


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 27 May, 2011

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