Techniques to Succeed: Resolving client reluctance

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

This is Tip No. 4 in Larry Litwin’s “More ABCs of Strategic Communication: available on www dot larrylitwin dot com.

Here is a five-step process to help resolve client conflict:
• Anticipate objections.When preparing presentations or proposals, keep in mind any issues the client might raise – anything they may have said or might say now. Have a planned response.

• Listen carefully. Show your value as a problem-solver to the client by listening closely to their concerns.Never interrupt or get defensive – work with them.

• Understand the objection. If you are not 100 percent clear about the client’s objection, ask questions. Always check your understanding by restating the problem in your own words.

• Answer questions fully and honestly. Issues aren’t resolved by being evasive, by manipulating the client or by misrepresenting your intentions. Always preface answers by showing you understand that the concern is legitimate from the client’s viewpoint. After responding, confirm that you’ve dealt with the objection and that the client has no other questions.

• Be flexible.Try to resolve an objection by staying flexible in your proposals. Partner with your client to reach agreement. The more skilled you are in resolving objections, the more satisfied your clients will be.

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]