Your main goal as a business owner is to provide solutions that genuinely address your customers’ needs, ultimately enhancing their quality of life through your products. However, it’s important to acknowledge that customers have had negative experiences in the past. When a product fails to fulfill its promised purpose, it leaves customers disappointed, cautious and most likely, difficult.

Consequently, customers have become more logical, meticulously evaluating their options before making a purchase. They want assurance that what they buy will truly deliver on its promises, without the need for additional purchases.

So, how do you sell to a difficult customer?

1. Use testimonials

Customer segments are defined by age, social status, work environment, exposure, and place of residence. One of the ways to sell to a difficult customer is to mention individuals who have purchased your products and get them to talk about the satisfaction derived from these products/services. This is to assure them that their investment is secure.

Logical, difficult customers, who possess the means to spend, seek reassurance before making a purchase. Their strong network also make them influential in referring others to your products, creating a potential customer segment with continuous demand.

To build trust and credibility, it’s recommended to collect testimonials for display on your website or social media channels. These testimonials can take the form of text accompanied by customer photos. Alternatively, video testimonials are powerful as they visually convey trust through body language. Keep the video clips concise, ranging from 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Sharing testimonials from satisfied customers serves as a powerful means of building trust, establishing credibility and instilling confidence in potential buyers.

2. Provide customer support and utilise customer feedback

When customers are unsure about how to use a product, they often seek information and guidance. Capitalize on these conversations by providing the necessary instructions and support. It’s crucial to keep records of all customer interactions, including calls and text messages. These records serve not only for monitoring and improvement purposes but also for reaching out to them.

Valued customers who experience the benefits they anticipated are likely to express their gratitude. You can showcase these conversations, starting from when they sought assistance to when their concerns were resolved. This display of customer feedback demonstrates your trustworthiness and reliability.

3. Offer discounts

Customers have unfortunately experienced instances where their hard-earned money was taken advantage of, causing them to be cautious about future purchases. To foster long-term relationships and bring about a significant change in their perspective, you need to shift your focus away from short-term profitability to gaining trust.

Rewrite the narrative and offer them something of exceptional value, surpassing their expectations. It could be in the form of discounts or even providing the item for free if it is not a high-priced product. By exceeding their perceived value and offering them an irresistible proposition, you can sell to a difficult customer, rebuild their trust and establish a solid foundation for a lasting customer relationship.

4. Offer free complimentary services

Customers often have additional needs beyond their initial purchase. As a business, you have the opportunity to provide these supplementary services alongside the discounts offered. However, it’s important to approach this in a thoughtful manner, avoiding any sense of desperation.

Consider making a promise to customers that after they have used the product and experienced satisfaction, they will receive complimentary services when they make a second purchase. This promise acts as an incentive for them to return and further solidifies their positive experience with your business. By offering these additional services, you enhance their overall satisfaction and create a compelling reason for them to engage with your brand again.

In conclusion, it’s crucial to remember that the ultimate objective is to win over customers. However, it’s important to acknowledge that customers have the freedom to choose whether or not to return. Regardless, your goal should be to maintain a long-term business relationship with each customer, treating them as individuals rather than as a collective group.

By focusing on personalized service and catering to their specific needs, you increase the likelihood of building loyalty and fostering repeat business. Remember, every customer is unique, and your commitment is to serve them on an individual level.

Emmanuel Otori is the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Data School. He is a Small Business Consultant, Start-Up Advisor and Consultant For SMEs across Nigeria. You can read his other articles here.