Delivering bad news...positively!

Delivering bad news to a customer whilst maintaining rapport at the same time

Right now, we’re having to give our customers a fair bit of ‘bad news’ given that we’re all almost totally in lockdown and our frontlines are operating from a distance at best, and completely closed down at worst.

When you have a tad of bad news to give to someone – such as not being able to action their request or fulfil their order or answer their enquiry at this time due to this difficult situation our companies are in right now, it’s important to remember how those negative messages land in the human brain UNLESS you get to grips with our clever little strategy, called the TAPE TECHNIQUE, which uses reverse psychology to ensure the ‘bad news’ lands slightly more positively or palatably to the ear.

So, before giving someone the bad news or talking in the negative, ensure you start with a bit of good news first…

Focus on the CAN Dos before you focus on the CAN’T Dos

Try saying Yes before saying No!

Here’s how it works – from a psychological perspective…

We all have these 2 constantly playing tapes in our brain and

Dependent on which tape – the good or bad / the positive or negative tape we set to play FIRST, will depend on how the bad news we have to give lands.

For example, if I have to tell a customer that I’ll need to get approval from my manager before I can agree to waive or delay their late payment fee they’ve been charged, then ordinarily I’d probably start my response by using some of that neggie speak like unfortunately, I’m ever so sorry but or I’m afraid that…

Then I’d tell them I don’t have authority to approve that but I’ll speak to my manager and ask them to approve their request and get back to them…

Yet, because I started with the bad news FIRST – especially using negative language like unfortunately, the brain automatically set its negative tape to play, which meant when I went on to give the good news, it got delivered onto the negative or bad news tape, thus lessening its positive impact.

Make sense?

So, if we can set the Good News tape to play FIRST, then any bad news or negative messages you have to deliver, will land far more positively to the ear. So, applying the TAPE TECHNIQUE to that same scenario – instead I‘d say “I can certainly speak with my Manager and request that refund for you later today, although I’m unable to approve that myself”

Can you hear how the bad news lands a little softer, because it actually got delivered onto the positive tape…simple hey!

So, happy tape playing this week and until next time, stay safe, stay sane and keep FIT!

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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