Top Ten Customer Turnoffs: “Bad-mouthing Others”

Several years ago, my family and I went to dinner at a popular steak house chain. The first thing you see when you enter the restaurant is a hostess stand, where you check in for a table. Surrounding the hostess stand are several benches where you can sit and wait for your table to be ready. As was normal during the evening there was a wait, so we took our seats right next to the hostesses.

Someone is Always Watching, and Listening

In my line of work, I tend to watch what is going on and listen to the conversations of the team members. The first thing I heard the two college age hostesses discuss was making fun of a physical attribute of a guest who had just walked out the door. They then went on to talk about how they did not like their new manager. Finally, all in a period of less than five minutes, I heard one ask the other: “Did you like that new entrée they are testing?” The other hostess responded, “no, I would not pay $15 for that!”

How do you think that made me feel? If my wife did not have her heart set on a blooming onion, I would have left and taken my business elsewhere. You never know who may be listening in on your conversations, so keep them positive.

No one is interested in overhearing an employee bad-mouth their employer, co-workers, or competition. In fact, it is said that that 90% of people don’t care about your problems, and the other 10% are glad you have them. What does the customer really want? They want the product or service they are purchasing delivered as promised.

Keep it Positive

One of the challenges that many sales people run into is learning how to sell their product without criticizing the competitor. It is okay to factually compare your product to theirs, but try to focus on the positive aspects of your product. Keep in mind that you may be talking with the person who may have purchased your competitor’s product in the past. Insulting their choice of purchase is an insult to them.

I am not naïve enough to think that every time you show up to work you are going to have a fabulous day. Work is hard. There are going to be great days and there are also going to be challenging times. You are going to have positive, motivating leaders and you are going to most likely have others that need to improve their leadership skills. Whether you are in the office with co-workers or are away from work, be careful to not talk negatively about your boss or company. There are plenty of people out there who will be negative enough for all of us!

The Math

It’s all about MATH! Do you Add, Subtract, Divide, or Multiply? What impact do you have on your organization?  People who ADD are positive, individual contributors. Those who SUBTRACT fall short of doing their job with excellence.  DIVIDERS not only fail to perform their own duties, but keep others from doing their job by being a negative or disruptive influence. The goal is to be one who MULTIPLIES by not only giving everything to your job, but by encouraging and enabling others to be their best. The choice is yours today!

Next week we will deal with Customer Turnoff #6: “Lack of Product or Service Knowledge.”

Got a good “bad-mouthing story”? I’d love to hear it.