5 Ways to Express Owner Honesty
An honest salesman? Who ever heard of such a thing? Believe it or not, the old notion that all salesmen are slick and dishonest has gone the way of cassette tapes and VCRs. There might still be a few floating around, but being honest is the “in” thing now.
More business owners and their employees are catching on that good customer service coupled with honest customer service is the best way to stay ahead the competition. Being honest with customers builds trust, and a better relationship with customers leads to improved customer loyalty and more sales.
How can one best express their owner honesty?
1. Make Honesty a Top Priority
Consider the ramifications of being dishonest.
You manage to sell a product or service through dishonest practices. The customer in turn is dissatisfied, and either returns the product or discontinues the service. Then, the customer proceeds to tell others about their experience with your businesses and the lies that were told (yes, the customer will perceive them as lies, and an unhappy customer hold no bounds).
The customer might even go so far as to post a negative review about their experiences on the Internet, where it can be seen by potentially thousands. All anyone has to see is the words “lies,” “deceptive,” dishonest,” or other negative connotations associated with your business, and repercussions of your dishonesty will echo for quite a long time.
Now consider the benefits of being honest.
Sure, perhaps you risk losing a sale, but you quite possibly set yourself up for future sales from that customer, who will remember your honesty and consider you a trustworthy individual and business. Additionally, there are ways in which you can still save the sale, discussed a bit a later in the article.
2. Honesty In Person Appears More Sincere
Sometimes you need to be honest with a customer or client, and you may be worried about the customer being angry or upset. In a situation like this, it always appears more sincere when you are honest in person.
In this way, the consumer can often gauge by your body language whether you are truly concerned about them and value them as a
customer, or if you are just making excuses.
And never send another employee to speak for you and take the brunt of the customer’s reaction. This looks as though you don’t respect the customer to address things yourself, and even worse, that you are chicken.
Additionally, by speaking face to face, you can also better gauge what the customer is feeling, and act accordingly to bring about a peaceful resolution.
3. Discuss The Pros AND Cons of a Product, and Suggest Alternatives
If you know your customers, and you know your products, then you know how those products can benefit your customers. Likewise, you are probably aware if any products might be lacking in features a customer might be looking for, or will not perform as well as a customer might require for their needs.
Many business owners and salesmen will avoid telling their customers about this in fear of losing a sale, but you are only setting yourself for a larger loss when the customer wishes to return the product, and opts to make any future purchases from a competitor who is more forthcoming with product information.
Remember, today’s consumer is a savvy one, and the Internet enables consumers to read plenty of reviews about a product in order to help them better make an informed decision about a purchase. If they ask you questions and you appear to leaving out some information or avoiding the question entirely, they will know.
If you feel a particular product isn’t exactly what the consumer might be looking for, suggest an alternative product, and explain why the customer might prefer that one. This not only reinforces the idea that you are being honest, but also that you are knowledgeable about your products, which customers also greatly appreciate.
4. If Being Honest Means Revealing Something Negative, Try to Turn it Into a Positive
Easier said than done, but never impossible.
Sometimes you may have to tell a customer that something may not be able to done to their satisfaction. The customer will of course be unhappy about this, but if you can find a way to provide the customer with some sort of compensation, you’ve shown that customer three things: that you sincerely care about making them happy, that they can trust you to be honest, and that you value their business.
5. Stay Honest Within the Business
The best way to ensure owner honesty as well as teach your employees to be honest is to insist on honest business practices. Pay salaries and creditors on time; build a solid rapport with suppliers and vendors; ensure quality control in manufacturing; etc.
Additionally, employees are more properly motivated if they feel that their manager or the business owner is honest with them. Don’t beat around the bush with pay raises or firings, encourage open and honest communication amongst employees and their superiors, hold performance reviews that try to focus on the positive, and recommend tips for improving any aspects that an employee might need to work on.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep just to keep a customer from turning to a competitor, the benefits of being honest and losing one customer who appreciates your honesty will outweigh the cost of being dishonest and losing an angry customer.
Author Credits ::
Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com. Her work allows her to investigate many topics, ranging from online consumer relations to effective communication in the workplace. When she is not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and finding the most intricate Retail Packaging Paper Bags out there.