So if you’re one of the 3 people that read this, you may have read the last post on saying “Thank You”. I think the importance of a well placed thank you can make all the difference in developing rapport, as well as a long lasting professional relationship. At the end of the day, we are all people, and as much as we like the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s business”, we all have very personal reactions to our business dealings.
If “Thanks” sits on the positive end of the spectrum, then I would say lying sits at the opposite. There is nothing worse than being lied to, or tricked into making a decision with false or incomplete information.
I once heard a guy at a major electronics retailer, fully outfitted in his blue polo and yellow name tag, tell a customer that when his plasma TV died, he could bring it in and get it refilled. Like it was a restaurant serving Diet Coke, and the refills were free. Knowing more than a little about the subject, I approached the potential customer as he was walking away from the sales rep, and let him know that refilling a plasma TV was a near impossibility. I can’t even stand it when other folks lie, even when its to someone I don’t know.
There is nothing worse than being in a meeting with a potential client and being asked a question you don’t know the answer to. I mean you can’t look bad in front of the client, so it is best to just fake your way through an answer. I mean, they don’t know anything about your business, so they’ll never find out, and you know they need your product now, so why delay the sale, right?
Making up an answer puts you in a very weak position. One where you will most likely have to learn the answer anyway, and then back pedal when what you then said, doesn’t match what you now know. This makes you look dishonest and completely obliterates any good will you may have had with the client.
So, what is the Second Most Important Phrase I Know???
I don’t know. No, the phrase is really “I Don’t Know.”
“I don’t know, but I’ll find out”, puts you in a position to tell the client that you care enough to get him the info he needs. Nobody knows everything. Your client doesn’t know every obscure fact about their own product either. Saying it makes you look intelligent, not stupid. Now of course if you don’t know anything about your business yet , the phrase “I’m New” is a great one to know as well. People like the underdog, and want to help them succeed.
Saying “I Don’t Know” creates an opportunity to learn. It also allows you to serve the customer but more importantly it develops rapport and supports being honest, which BTW will be one of the next installments.