Bad Reputation

“I’ve just started a job at a new company which has a bad reputation. How can I overcome this when speaking to clients old and new?”

I had this exact scenario when delivering sales training to a hotel client of mine. The hotel was acquiring old hotels that had a poor reputation and investing in them both aesthetically and in the staff to improve standards.

The way I taught the sales team to deal with the bad reputation is a great technique, however, everyone has a different perception of ‘a bad reputation’, therefore the key is to understand what the prospect or existing customer has heard or experienced about the company and then to deal with it.

People are persuaded by other people; it’s called the third party proof. It’s a little bit like if you were shopping for clothes with your friends and all your friends agree you look great in a particular outfit, you are more inclined to purchase it.

The technique can be best remembered by using the 3 F’s: Feel, Felt, Found. As I mentioned, to begin with, the key is to understand and empathize with the prospect/customer about what their take is on a bad reputation. Once you understand that, you can then provide a solution to appease them. Let me illustrate: imagine the customer says “the customer service is awful at your company; staff is always rude and never get back to you when they promise.” Your answer must show empathy and then demonstrate how the company has changed, as follows:

I completely understand how you FEEl, we have had other clients in the past that FELT exactly the same as you, what they have now FOUND is all our staff have been through rigorous customer services training to raise our standards across the board and the feedback we have received has been incredible. I am really looking forward to gaining your valued thoughts and opinions on how we now operate as a business.

Note I explained the team has been through customer services training. If that is not true then you cannot state it. You must ensure you’re answer is accurate and solves their concerns. You should always be able to find an angle; you’ve just got to look for it.

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