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9 Ways to Work Better With Negative Customers

March 04 2014

negative cust servIn real estate, you can't avoid unhappy or dissatisfied customers. Buyers with wish lists twice the size of their budget and sellers who demand you find a buyer willing to pay more than fair market value create stress for even the best agents.

Here are nine ways to stay upbeat in the face of negativity:

1. Always visualize a large $ stamped on your unhappy customer's forehead.

Your customers pay your bills and feed your family. An unhappy customer may cost you this job and lose you a future referral. A happy customer creates a happy pay day for you.

2. Skip the news before work and listen to music or motivational talks on your way to work.

How you spend the first part of your day influences how the rest of your day unfolds. Don't watch negative newscasts before work. Listening to music that pumps you up or motivational talks prepares you to tackle problem people or situations.

3. Find something to like about every customer.

Maybe your client has great eyebrows or good taste in ties. During unpleasant encounters, keep your focus on the 5% you like about them and your focus off the 95% you dislike.

4. Use Daily Affirmations to support yourself such as:

  • "I'm doing the best I can!"
  • "I am a winner!"
  • "I trust myself!"
  • "I can handle any problem!"
  • "I deserve this job!"

Affirmations keep your mind focused on a future positive outcome rather than the negative situation at hand.

5. Always reward yourself for a job well done.

When you successfully make it through a difficult day, show yourself some appreciation: Spend more time with family, get a massage or go out for a nice dinner.

6. Keep a Glory File of thank you letters and compliments. Review it often to remind yourself how fabulous you are.

When you have to deal with a tough customer, balance your self-esteem with a trip through your Glory File. Reminding yourself of your past successes and how much customers love you can motivate you to keep going.

7. Avoid gossiping about negative customers.

Retelling the tale of your terrible encounter intensifies your anger and negativity. Instead, do your best let go of the negativity as soon as the customer leaves your space. Until you can let go, the customer owns and controls your thoughts.

8. Avoid complainers, criticizers and whiners in your office.

I hope there's still someone left in your office to talk to when you avoid all the complainers, criticizers and whiners. Their negativity can cause your productivity to falter.

9. Make a list of reasons you must appreciate your customers and thank them.

  • "I appreciate you giving me the privilege of serving you."
  • "I feel lucky, honored and blessed to have a job I love."
  • "Thank you for choosing me to do your business with."

Most of all, never for one minute believe that your broker pays you. Your broker only supplies the check. Your customers fill in the blanks. Be grateful to them.

John Eric Jacobsen, national sales director of HomeActions, has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 1 million people in 5,000 strategic engagement talks and seminars. Recognized by his colleagues as a master storyteller and comedian, he's also the author of two books, Conversations on Customer Service and Sales and Weapons of Mass InstructionWeapons of Mass Instruction.

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