How to Handle the Situation: Difficult Customers

Submitted 11/28/2013 by Kaloyan Georgiev

Customers come in many types. You, as a salesman or a businessman, will get to see lot (we hope so) and if you know a thing or two about selling, you know that you should treat your customers individually. Now, they all might be different, but yet, there are some type of customers which you will meet once in a while - the difficult types.  You know, the clients that give you the headache. Here is how to handle the different types:

1. The Copycat - these customers will make everything in their power to get you to write an in-and-out offer for their company. They will want everything explained to the smallest detail. Then they will use your offer as a blueprint for their own project, which they'll present to the CEO. And you will get no further than that. How to handle the situation? Never give details without something in return (a part of the payment or at least a meeting with the CEO);

2. The Investigator - this one cooperates as much as it is possible and claims to love your company and what you do, but just can't seal the deal, because there are some more options and companies he wants to investigate and see what they have to offer. How to handle the situation? Explain that time means money and the more he delays the deal, the more money he or his company looses;

3. The Slow and Furious - this type of customers puts deadlines like "yesterday" or "in an hour", claiming he doesn't have time to wait for you, so you need to step your game up and be fast. Then, when it's time for him to make a decision on your work or you need something done from his side of the deal - he takes his time. He takes all the time in the world. How to handle the situation? Set a schedule upfront. Pinpoint the critical dates and the deadlines in the contract;

4. The Oz - he claims to be the main man, making all the tough decisions, sealing deals and all that, when actually he isn't the decision maker in the company, although he might believe he is. How to handle the situation? Ask him how his company makes those types of purchase decisions;

5. The Player - he/she thinks that harmless flirting isn't something that's out of the business books, so he/she uses it whenever possible to get additional details on the offer, discounts or everything else that can put him/her on top of the deal. How to handle the situation? A cold stare with a "Really?" face will do the job just fine.

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