Thank You For Your Patience: Avoid Saying This To Clients
“Thank you for your patience.”
What's worse, being forced to endure something you don't want or having the person forcing something on you act as if it was your idea in the first place?
Depending on the situation, you may speak up right away and put a stop to it, or if you want to keep the relationship intact, you may go along with it initially. However, over time, your tolerance may wear more and more thin until you can't take it anymore. Maybe at that point, you blow up, and it breaks down the relationship.
Now imagine the situation is reversed and you're the one forcing your clients to endure something they did not want, nor did they agree to it. And what's worse, you're probably thanking them for it.
When something goes wrong, and a client brings it to your attention, do you thank them for “being patient” while you attempt to make things right? Did the client agree to be patient in the first place? If not, then why are you thanking them for something you're essentially forcing on them?
I know, it's common to thank people for being patient, yet, is it having the effect you want and more importantly is it helping or hurting the rapport?
When you're in the position of being the client, would you rather be respectfully asked if you're willing to be patient rather than the person assume you will be and then thanked you for it?
Avoid thanking clients for their patience when it's not being freely given. When things are not going well, consider asking if the client is willing to be patient while you come up with a solution.
Remember, these situations are opportunities to deepen the level of rapport when done thoughtfully.
Most people send emails or say to clients things like:
- Thank you for your patience while I research this situation and get back to you.
- Thank you for your patience. I'll get back to you once I have some more information.
- Thank you for your patience while I find a solution.
These phrases may read ok to you, but when you have an upset client, they may come off as flippant or even condescending. The last thing you want to do it escalate a situation and lose a client.
Here are a few possible ways you might re-phrase your requests:
- Thank you for bringing this situation to my attention. Would you be willing to give me a little bit of time to research this and get back to you?
- Please forgive me for this misstep. With your permission, I'd like to take a little bit of time to come up with a few possible solutions and get back to you later today. Would that be acceptable?
- I apologize for dropping the ball. Would you be open to giving me another chance to make this right between us? With your permission, let's set up a time in the next few days to get on the phone and talk about how best I can resolve this situation to your satisfaction.
Asking clients for their permission is much more effective than assuming you have their permission and bulldozing over them. Get more actionable sales tips like this one by downloading the FREE eBook, Closing The Sale.
Wishing you continued success this week.
Agree? Disagree? Have additional comments or thoughts on this article? Please share.
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