Realistic Expectations From Your Painters

Realistic Expectations From Your Painters

1. Find a Win-Win Solution

When you understand the customer’s problem and he accepts your position, you can start to work together to find a win-win solution. Ask him whether the product really needs all the “bells and whistles” that he originally requested and give him an alternative. Could you perhaps produce a less complex product for him earlier, or for a lower cost?

Make sure that any alternatives you do offer are feasible before you suggest them. For instance, if you bring forward a deadline, what impact will it have on your team’s workload? How will it affect the budget?

Avoid suggesting a solution that falls short in all three categories of the Iron Triangle (time, budget and quality). You don’t want to make an already delicate situation worse. Your customer will likely understand by now that what he wants is unrealistic, but he’s unlikely to back down on all aspects of his request. Be sure to preserve his

Realistic Expectations From Your Painters

2. Make a “One-Time-Only” Offer

Your customer may be important enough to your business for you to consider making an exception to the rule, even if it means asking staff to work a weekend or calling in favors from your own suppliers.

However, if you do decide to go this way, proceed with caution. There’s a danger that by agreeing to her demands you’ll open the floodgates for similar requests in the future. If other clients get to hear about the special treatment you’re giving to her, they might expect the same from you, too.

Be absolutely clear that this is a one-off. In most cases, the customer will appreciate your effort, particularly if you make it clear how exceptional the deal is. It might even help to strengthen your relationship.

3. Refuse Politely

If what your customer is asking for exceeds what you can actually deliver, be honest with him. Committing to a request that you can’t possibly fulfill will only make matters worse and could damage your relationship in the long run.

Remember, you don’t need to be aggressive when you refuse his request, just assertive. Thank the customer for his initial commitment to you, and stress that if you could achieve what he is asking for, then you would.

Taking a step back from your customer’s unrealistic request in this way doesn’t need to mean the end of your deal. In fact, it could be just the beginning of another phase of negotiation.

4. Know When to Walk Away

A point may come when you realize that your customer simply won’t see reason.

If she continues to demand more than you can deliver, or becomes aggressive or rude, it may be best to complete the contracted work to the best of your ability and then end the relationship.

Be polite but firm, and suggest that the customer find an alternative supplier. Even at this late stage, your refusal may be enough to prompt her to rethink her request. So, leave the door open for as long as you can once you’ve explained the situation. It’s essential that you always gain the support of your manager if you need to do this.

Tip:

Naturally confident people can sometimes overstep the mark and become aggressive or rude without realizing it. If your client acts like this, remain professional and emphasize that, while you’re prepared to make every effort to satisfy his request, you won’t accept intimidation.

Key Points

Some customers refuse to accept the constraints of delivering goods or services quickly, cheaply, and to the highest quality.

If your customer’s demands have become unrealistic or impossible, try to remain calm and professional. Get to the root of her problem by listening actively and empathizing with her.

Explain your own position clearly. Clarify that you will do everything you can to help her, but make sure she understands the limits of what is possible and what isn’t. Do this by sharing information with her and being open about the problems that you encounter.

Then, work together to resolve the matter. Try to find a solution that works for both of you, or consider making an exception for her just this one time. If this isn’t possible, and you are unable to meet her request, you may need to refuse it or cut your losses and walk away from the deal.