BSC Summit

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Tips to Defuse an Angry Home Buyer

How many of you remember shoe repair shops or small appliance shops in every town? I grew up in a small town of 2,500 people that had 2 shoe repair shops, an appliance repair shop run by a WWII veteran and 3 corner grocery stores.

If someone wasn’t happy with what they bought, they either returned it or had it repaired. No questions asked. Those were the good old days we hear about but most have not experienced.

Fast forward 50 years and today’s customers only want things returned quickly or repaired for free even if it their fault it broke in the first place. Social media makes it so easy for someone with a small problem to blow it completely out of proportion and the loser is you, the new home builder.


Very few new home buyers today can have their house built without some kind of problem. We’ve all heard these lines:

  • “You promised me……….”
  • “You never told me………..”
  • “That should have been included in the price”
  • “My Dad (Grandfather, friend, neighbor, second cousin) said that you should……”
  • “I checked the Internet and you are doing it wrong”
  • “Just when are you going to fix…….”
  • “I called my lawyer and they said you have to ……………..”
  • “What do you mean I can’t move into my own house?”

And these are just a couple of the more frequent ones you hear from your customers. If not handled properly it can mean a lot of pain for you later.

So what can you do about it?  How can you break through and dissolve the resistance that is building up between you and your home buyer?

You want to get your point across, but don’t want to fuel the fire.  Even if you know what to do, in a heated moment you must know what you are up against.  You must think strategically if you want to get ahead and make the best out of your particular situation.  A big part of that process is to stop, think and do the unexpected.

Here are seven easy and effective tips to turn around any situation with a difficult person:

1.  Stop, Look and Listen.
You would be surprised what this simple action will do.  One common reason people put up resistance is because they do not feel heard or understood.  Stop, Look and Listening to them to make them feel significant is the fastest way to move forward.

2.  Walk in their shoes.
Just imagine you are in their shoes for one moment.  What do they want?  If you were in their situation, what would it feel like?  Just this one tip will get you far because most people are seeing one point of view: theirs.  Great problem-solvers can change perspective.

3. Resistance is Futile.
What you resist, persists.  People tend to resist you more when you resist them.  Spend a little extra time getting to know their point of view and ask them questions to understand their point of view (and nod your head, yes, as if you understand).

4. Body Language.
We communicate not only through words but with our body language.  When you tilt your head slightly, people feel heard.  Also, this one trick will get you to actually listen more intently.

5. Who Has the Final Say.
Find out who influences the difficult person and see if they can help you relate.  Think outside the box and know you have many routes that lead to where you want to go.

6. Change the Subject.
Sometimes you can change the subject and agree on something totally different than the matter at hand in order to create a bond with the person.  Even a negative bond might do the trick, but be careful not to create a habit of negative bonding.

7. Stop Trying So Hard to be Right.
Don’t feed negativity.  Big responses and long email replies can escalate a difficult situation.  Don’t call out the person’s behavior with a grand reply but instead calmly listen with care.  The person won’t feel defensive but will feel understood.

1 comment:

josh said...

and sometimes you simply must bop them very hard between the eyes to help yhem understand. remember if you are dealing with rational people this should not be a problem. if you do your job right and well this should not be a problem. but if you are dealing with a fool or an imbecile you must swat them before they become too unruly.