how to diffuse an angry client-motivational sales speaker

“You screwed up.”

Those are three words that we all hate to hear from a client. But, it is inevitably going to happen. The question is, how will you handle it? Often, an angry client is an amazing opportunity to look like a hero. Here are three ways to diffuse and angry client:

  1. Never Defend or Justify: When someone tells us how we just messed up, there is an impulse to want to defend and justify, but this is exactly the wrong thing to do. When we start defending and justifying to an angry client, we are just feeding the fire. This only gives more fodder for the client to become angry about. Instead, be genuinely sympathetic and ask questions to fully understand the situation. Take it all in.
  2. Put Yourself in Their Shoes: When we are angry with someone, it is usually because of a lack of communication. When a client is angry with us, the best way to lower their frustration and anger is to fully understand and appreciate how they feel. The best way to do that is to relate to them by putting yourself in their shoes. We’ve all dealt with frustrating experiences as customers, so relate to them and feel their pain. Fall on your sword and let them feel that you feel their pain.
  3. Ask How to Fix It: So often, companies want to offer solutions when a client is angry. But remember, the client mostly wants to be heard. So rather than offer your own solutions, let the client tell you how to fix this. After you’ve fully understood the situation and put yourself in their shoes, ask, “What can we do to fix this?”

By allowing the client to suggest a solution, you allow that person to be heard and often their solution is simple. If it’s not a reasonable solution, then you can continue to ask questions to understand what they would like done.

Remember, an angry client can be an opportunity to build a stronger relationship, so make the best of every opportunity.

How do you diffuse your angry clients? Please share below.

Marc Wayshak is author of the book Game Plan Selling and a sales keynote speaker.


Get 25 tips to crush your sales goal. Written by Marc Wayshak, sales strategist & author of the book, "Game Plan Selling."