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How Can I Deal With Difficult Customers?

Hi everybody I’m Mike Staver, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people like you. This week’s question, pretty straightforward:

Dear Mike, what’s the easiest way to deal with a difficult customer? I’m in real estate sales and occasionally have difficult customers.

If you’re in real estate sales then you’ve got more than the occasional difficult customer!

Here’s what I’m sensitive to, you have buyers and you have sellers, you have both sides of the transaction. Sometimes the buyer’s difficult, sometimes the seller. Sometimes you’re managing both sides. Here’s how you deal with difficult customers – the easiest way.

Make sure at the onset of the relationship you set very specific expectations and understand both sides of the expectations. So if you only return phone calls up until 8:00 pm at night then you’re off the grid to spend time with your family make sure they know that upfront. What you never want to do with a difficult customer is just start chasing your tail every time they’re upset. So good, clean boundaries right from the beginning of the relationship is always going to help you.

Second, make absolutely certain that you understand this phrase: “What you allow, you teach.” Anything, any behavior that’s allowed to continue is a behavior taught. So make sure, from the beginning, that they understand what those boundaries are and that you don’t allow those boundaries to continue to be compromised.

Finally, make sure that you’re always considerate and very benevolent in your caring and understanding of the challenges that they face. I’m always saying to difficult customers “I realize it probably seems that way, I get that it’s difficult, and here’s how I think we ought to proceed.”

So clarity about boundaries, kindness and benevolence, and making sure that you’re always acknowledging the difficulty while maintaining boundaries is very important.

Until next week, this is Mondays with Mike, take care everybody.

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