At Your Service: “How Do You Deal With a Customer Who’s Trying to Haggle?”

Every other week we ask retailers how they handle client requests, questions, and conundrums. This week we asked: “How do you deal with a customer who won’t stop haggling?”

“Knowing that the customer is always right, we ask them to tell us what we can do to make them happy. Sometimes that communication will make us realize their requests aren’t as bad as we thought and they’re surprised we even asked. Sometimes nothing will make them happy. But you don’t want to burn bridges with customers. In the long run, we want to maintain good relationships with them, even if they’re difficult to please. This type of situation happens once in a hundred times, but it does happen.”?
John Reed, owner, JWR Jewelers, Athens, Ga.

“My biggest defense or response to haggling is informing or educating the customer. They’re asking for a price they think they should be paying or they have read online. We inform them about the value of the product we carry and the difference between discounts in stores. We’re a small, family-run store and discounts aren’t really something we offer. Virtually everybody asks for a discount, though. This type of situation is something we add to our sales training, so our staff can handle it.”?
—Andy Marthaler, owner, Marthaler Jewelers, Asheville, N.C.

“Showing a 1 carat G-SI1 for $XXXX, client asks for lower price. Okay, so I show a 1 carat G-SI2 for $XXXX, client asks for lower price. Okay, so I show a 1 carat H-SI1.… Show difference in product vs. price.… Don’t lower the price beyond a fair offer up front.”
—Jennifer P. Riley, via Facebook

“Stick to your guns, repeat your price over and over and over each time they try. If that still doesn’t work, say, ‘I’m sorry, but I don’t appear to be able to help you today’ and put it away. They’ll often take it if they do want it. Sometimes they won’t, of course, but they may not have taken it at any price. It’s better to have them out of your way and letting you attend to other customers.”?
—Annette Piper, via Facebook

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