I'm sure you've heard the old saying "the customer is always right." I remember hearing it in the training at my first retail job many moons ago. I vividly remember thinking "that's impossible, not every customer can be right." But I didn't dare say anything lest I be picked up by my brand new blue Turnstyle vest and shown the door.
Thirty-odd years later I'm ready to say it out loud: the customer is NOT always right. But just because they're not right doesn't mean they're wrong. More often than not the customer is mistaken. And they're mistaken because they don't have the information or experience that someone like you has. Let me show you two examples of a customer who is mistaken and what you can do about it.
A customer walks in with a competitor's advertisement for a product that you don't sell and tells you, "I need one of these." If you assume the customer is always right then you will tell the customer you don't carry the product and send them on to your competitor. But if you believe that customers are not always right but are occasionally mistaken you will say, "That's a fine product but we carry some others that may fit your needs even better. Let me ask you a few questions."
By exploring the customer's needs you'll discover which products you do sell that will best meets her needs. It could turn out to be the one in the competitor's advertisement but you won't know unless you make the effort to learn more from the customer. You're actually doing your customers a service by not assuming that they're always right.
Here's another example. When a customer says "That's more than I wanted to pay," is he correct? If you assume he is you will take him at his word and show him a less expensive product. Which is a shame since you will be doing him a disservice if he is mistaken. It may be more than he thought he wanted to pay but he might be willing to pay it - or perhaps more - if you tell him why it's worth the price.
If you've done a proper job interviewing your customer and learning his needs you should be able to explain why the product he is considering is still an excellent value even though it's more than he originally planned to pay. If the customer still says that it's more than he wants to pay, then he was correct and you can show him a different product. No harm, no foul. The best part is that if the customer was mistaken he'll end up with a better product that meets his needs and you'll end up with a bigger sale.
So let me ask, do you take the time to discover if your customer is correct or perhaps mistaken? If you don't, you're not doing your job and you're missing sales
Share with us some of other ways your customers are mistaken