Have you ever received a call from an over-zealous telephone sales person; the one who simply refuses to accept your “I’m not interested” response to their sales pitch? I had one who implied that my lack of interest clearly demonstrated a lack of intelligence and understanding as to the value his product could provide. The implied insult did nothing except bring the call to a very abrupt end!
That is an extreme example of someone who believed I needed what he had to offer and wouldn’t take no for an answer. But it does bring to mind a question some service professionals have, “How do I respond when a suggestion I make is not acted on?” The important thing to remember is … don’t take it personally.
I have been working with a company on some marketing ideas for my business. Many ideas and suggestions were presented. Some I liked. Some I didn’t. I was a little taken aback at the defensive response I received when I made the decision not to implement some of the proposed activities. While those tactics may work for some companies, some businesses, I did not feel they were a fit for me or my business. They did not reflect how I interacted with my customers or potential customers. That didn’t make the suggestions wrong; that just made them wrong for me.
In the service industry, it is our job to provide suggestions. The more time we spend in a role, the better we become at assessing our customers and providing suggestions we believe will be of benefit to them. In the end though, it is the customer’s choice to accept our suggestions or not.
If customer doesn’t take you up on your suggestions, it is not a reflection on your knowledge or your expertise. Even when you “know” they made the wrong choice, don’t justify your recommendations or continue to push the passed on option. Implying the customer made the wrong choice doesn’t build the type of relationship that will bring them back again. Instead be gracious. Focus on the benefits their choice offers and provide the type of service that will bring them back again.