Fred Copestake posed an interesting survey on LinkedIn, “Is The Customer Always Right?” It’s an interesting question, applying not only to customers, but also to each of us.
What’s important here, and the biggest challenge, is perception. All of us, customers included, will always think we are right. Reflect, for a moment, why would someone continue to do things they know to be wrong or incorrect? It just doesn’t make sense.
With the exception of criminals (of all types), people do not consciously choose to do something they know of as wrong. They choose to do the best thing possible, given what they know and constraints they may face. They may not be aware there may be a better way to do things, or even what they may be doing is wrong. They are just doing the best that they know. They are doing what they think is right in the right way, even though it may be wrong.
As sellers, we are hoping to change their perception, to teach them, to help them learn, and possibly see things differently. We want to help them recognize they may not be looking at an issue correctly, or may even be unaware there might be a better way of doing something.
But this concept is even more difficult–and this is where sellers are, often, challenged. The reality is there are multiple “right answers.” We, naturally, feel we are right with what we are recommending to our customers. Our competitors feel the same about their solutions, and the customers may have differing views.
As a result, the concept of “the customer is always right,” is relatively meaningless. But, at the same time, the thought that “We are always right,” is also meaningless.
What is at issue is “what is the customer’s understanding about these issues now? What is important to them? How do we help them think differently, how we help incite them to considering change? How do we help them navigate to a solution?