How Clients seek to Control Conversations
This can happen at various times during the call but often near the beginning. You are hoping the client will rant and get it all ‘off their chest’, burn themselves out and then you will get a chance to speak.
This can result in several negative factors:
Silenced: It renders you silent and passive and the client is now in control until they decide to stop.
Time: The clock is ticking and you could certainly use this ‘rant’ time better to save you valuable time on the call.
Carousel of negativity: The client’s mind is spinning like a carousel at the fairground. With so much energy generated, their mind is free to ‘spark’ more negative points than they started with.
Negative behaviour pattern: The chaotic pattern of the conversation is set, and the client now realises they can jump in and take control at any time.
Whilst the client may burn themselves out, there is a better way to get the client to ‘off load’, where you are in total control of the call and where it goes next.
Going around in circles
You have listened, given advice and done as much as you can, but the client keeps bringing up the same point. It’s infuriating! You DO understand but for some reason they keep going around in circles. Grrrrr.
Asking angry questions
When clients are angry, they ask ANGRY questions. It is a tactic clients use to gain control, they are often not aware they are using it (we learn how to use this tactic at a young age, when we are annoyed). Your good listening process may be sabotaged by questions such as these:
- WHEN IS THIS WORK GOING TO STOP OUTSIDE MY HOUSE?
- MY SON WAS BULLIED IN YOUR CLASS, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
- I HAVE PAID THIS AMOUNT, WHY ARE YOU STILL CHASING ME?
Often the client is not seeking an answer, as they are often too angry to hear or accept your answer or explanation. It’s a tactic used to destabilise you and wrestle back control of the conversation.
Please listen to this audio clip and notice how the customer has control over the conversation and how they ask angry questions.