Retail golden rules: Why you should never tell a customer “I Can’t”

Customer service expert and former electronics salesman Bob Johnson has a list of golden rules on what you should never say to a customer. Right behind the phrase “I don’t know”, Johnson says the phrase “I can’t” should not be in a salesperson’s vocabulary. This phrase joins others on a 9-strong list, revealed in the February issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.

“I hear the phrase ‘I can’t’ a lot – and though it probably is the truth I wonder how much of what is said after those two words will be absorbed.

“Practice putting a positive spin on things that are difficult or impossible.

“For example: ‘Can you deliver that this afternoon?’ (It is now 1:00pm and your delivery truck won’t be back). Your ‘positive’ response might be, ‘Well, our delivery truck left early this morning with a full day of deliveries; what I can do is put you in touch with a private courier who can probably do it.

“‘It will of course cost you a little more that way. Or, as I said, we can deliver and install it for you tomorrow’.

“Always give people choices – it empowers them.”

Check out Appliance Retailer magazine for the full list of things you should never say to a customer.

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