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Dave Richardson

Bad News Deserves an Explanation, Not an Excuse

Here’s how to talk to clients when expectations aren’t met.

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WHY IT IS TRUE: Many salespeople are scared to be the bearer of bad news, but customers appreciate honesty.

PLAN OF ACTION: Be up front, and be prepared to accept the consequences. Maybe the customer’s special order ring from the vendor did not arrive on time. The customer does not care about the problems the vendor incurred. Explain the actions you’ve taken to rectify this situation, and if necessary, offer any compensation you feel will help.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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