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Feb 19, 2019 21:36:55

Wrong Wins

by @dontheideaguy PATRON | 446 words | 🐣 | 362💌

Don The Idea Guy

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Proving the customer is wrong will be the most expensive argument you'll ever win.

My friend and I have a saying we use on each other when ranting about interactions with other people (especially when the subject of the rant is a customer or family member) and it goes like this:

"Do you want to win, or do you want to be right?"

Most people (including me) like to be right.
In order for you (or me) to be right, someone else has to be wrong
And nobody likes to be wrong.
Especially when someone proves them wrong.

Even the word itself sounds accusatory.


It means the other person presented their best case and lost.
Which also means they'll end up feeling like they lost face.
And when a customer loses face to a salesperson or service provider -- it's likely they'll never show their face at that business again.

There's another guy just like you who sells the same stuff as you do for about the same price who's been trying to get an appointment with them for months, and now it's his lucky day because one of the only differences between your company and theirs is that this new guy doesn't know the customer was WHRRONNGGG!

Now, we both know the old cliche about "the customer is always right" isn't exactly accurate -- but the goal is to always make the customer feel like they're right (especially when they are dead wrong!)

This is how you achieve a Win instead of being Right.

Whenever possible, arrange it so the customer finds the error they made, and let them bring it up first. You can subtly point them in the right direction, allude to that fact that 

"Gosh, I swore we agreed that project would be deliver next week and not this week... I think we traded an email about it last Wednesday. I'm not at my desk right now, but could you check your inbox and see if I got the date wrong?"

At this point the customer can be the one to discover the misunderstanding and magnanimously own the problem.

"Oh, you're right -- here it is. I remember seeing it now. My fault -- I've just been so busy juggling too many deadlines..."

At this point they may add "Don't worry about it, next week is fine" OR you might find out that there is a real problem to solve and they need the project in-hand sooner than you thought.

Now you can jump to problem solving mode (instead of fault-finding mode) and help the customer get what they need instead of arguing about who was right and who was wrong.

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