//How to strategically disagree with a customer for everyone to win

How to strategically disagree with a customer for everyone to win



I have noticed an alarming trend that, I'm afraid, takes a critical look out the window and harms your relationship with customers. This phenomenon stems from our strong desire to always be correct and not to admit that we can be wrong.

Instead of looking for logical answers based on facts and research, we rationalize half-truths and conjectures as facts. We are ready to support each other to justify our answers, even if they are wrong or totally wrong. This tactic is known as dubbing and, if left unchecked, will negatively impact your interaction with others, including clients and co-workers.

I would say that doubling, rather than arguing your point of view, has the opposite effect. By justifying your argument, you actually distance the other part from your point of view.

Even if you think you are 100% correct, your reluctance to extend an olive branch outweighs your content. This olive branch does not mean that you have to give up your argument, but you must determine a compromise that will keep the conversation in respect.

Taken to the extreme, duplication has harmful consequences. Conversations can turn into screams of matches where each party speaks to one on the other and no one is listening. If the trend continues long enough, customers can leave. Effective communication is a two-way street. If one party always insists on doubling, the whole system fails.

Having shared the worst of what could happen, I want to focus on ways to stop, or at least curb, the desire to double in order not to hurt relationships with customers.

Understanding the customer's point of view

I've already worked with a client who saw his income and expenses increase while posting a high ROI each month. During the meetings, I would explain the metric improvements that we brought each month.

They did not seem impressed. To deepen my point, I provided additional metrics that highlighted the great work I was doing. It does not matter, because we have said over and over that we have to do better.

It turns out that the main measure, from the customer's point of view, was income divided by costs. For example, if we spent $ 30,000 and earned $ 100,000, the cost per percentage of revenue was 30%. I thought we were fine because the turnover was increasing, but the customer thought that the cost per turnover was not decreasing enough. I have continued to double the notion that we should pay more attention to income increases each month instead of improving costs by income.

I should have tried to understand that cost per income was the most important measure for the client . Because of my experience in the industry, I was jaded and pushed my beliefs, when in fact, my insight should have complemented their views. If I had followed this approach, the relationship would have been more constructive from the beginning. I also believe that my point of view would have been taken into account because I was working with them rather than against them.

Reframing the Conversation

Whenever we duplicate, we tell the other party that we do not agree with their point of view. However, if we are able to change the subject, we can better approach a common ground.

A good example of this dynamic is the expectations of customers and advertisers / agencies for lead generation management .

Advertisers aim to bring as many leads as possible while the customer tries to turn these opportunities into opportunities and eventually into revenue. A common theme in this relationship is that the advertiser consistently reaches the primary goal, but the customer does not see the desired increase in opportunities. From the advertiser's point of view, the work is in progress and it is up to the customer to close these leads.

From the point of view of the customer, other possibilities are not created, because too many tracks of are of poor quality . Both parties have reasonable arguments, but if one or the other party doubles, no progress will be made. What is the workaround? Crop the problem.

Rather than asking who is responsible for the small number of possibilities, we should focus on how each party can better collaborate to obtain better quality clients.

What is the vision of each side that will help the other? Can more efficient messaging be used to better pre-select users? Can the advertiser help guide the funnel? In discussing and answering these questions, we are making much more progress than if we decided to double the workforce.

Consider that you are wrong

It is not easy to think that we are wrong, let alone admit it. We are proud of our work and, as human beings, we have egos. To admit that we are wrong seems to let us down. On the other hand, in some cases, we are not as concerned about deceiving ourselves as about the fact that the other party is right (which is the wrong attitude to have). Whatever the reason, you can admit that you are wrong in saving the face.

The first step is to admit that you are wrong. Assuming that your reasoning is incorrect, you acknowledge to the client that you are not duplicating. The client may be angry at first, but I have found that in the long run, they respect you more to be honest. Just like to reframe the conversation, the next step is to put together a plan to move forward. Discuss how the situation will be resolved.

We are all wrong sometimes. It's life. Just make sure that you are able to admit it and that you focus on the solution.

Recent Thoughts

There are too many daily duplicates that help no one. We must communicate better with each other and respect our points of view. Use the strategies presented in this article to avoid doubling and having more meaningful interactions.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the invited author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here .

About the author

Matt Umbro is Associate Director of Research at Hanapin Marketing . He specializes in e-commerce and customer relations, and he also oversees content production for PPC Hero.