January 31, 2024

How to Handle a Situation Where a Customer Wants a Brand That You Don't Have

A brand is an intangible asset that differentiates a product or service from other offerings in the same marketplace. Its elements convey a message about a company – that it is more effective, more reliable, cheaper, classier, hipper or more environmentally friendly than other offerings. The word “brand” is loaded with meaning, but the definition becomes skewed as the language evolves and people use it in different ways.

Suppose you work for a business that sells some but not all of a particular brand of product. A customer comes in asking about a product that you don’t carry. How do you handle this situation? Saying “no, we don’t have that” is an honest answer but it can sound cold and uncaring. Instead, you could say something like, “I understand that you want that specific item, but we have another product that will meet your needs just as well. Would you be open to hearing about it?” This makes the rejection hurt a little less for the customer, and who knows? Down the line, you might build a product that satisfies that need in a more meaningful way.

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