How to Calm an Angry Client Who Received Bad News

BY Rachel Cagle
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In the world of sales, few things are more frustrating than dealing with angry clients who have received bad news. It is a terrible situation to be put into: Emotions are high on both sides, but you do not have the luxury of reacting however you want like the client does. “7 Tips on How to Handle Angry Customers Without Losing Your Cool,” by Chris Frascella offers advice on how to get through these seemingly impossible situations with your business relationship still in one piece.

How to Calm an Angry Client Who Received Bad News

  1. Keep Your Cool

No matter what, do NOT be responsible for continuing your client’s negative feelings. This includes defending yourself. Your client did not contact you to hear about how the problem the received the bad news about was an accident or was not your fault. They reached out to you because they just want their problem solved. Be the bigger person. Make sure you listen to your client without interrupting them. Give them a chance to get their anger out and let them know that you care about their problem enough to listen to their whole angry tirade.

  1. Tread Lightly

Even after your client gets done with their rant, they will likely still be in offense mode until their problem is solved. Because of this, the way you word your response is extremely important, especially if the conversation is happening in person or over the phone. Your client will be looking for even the slightest hint of anger, a lack of empathy or, even worse, sarcasm in your response. Remain calm, keep your voice even and stick to the facts of what will happen next.

  1. Fix it Fast

Do not just apologize, solve the client's problem. As soon as possible. In fact, your apology should include the opportunity to receive feedback from your client on how they feel you can solve the issue at hand to their satisfaction. You should also get your client involved in the problem-​solving process so that there will not be any doubt that you are doing everything you can to fix things. Bad news can be an opportunity to engage with your client and help them be more comfortable in reaching out to you in the future. And hopefully any future outreach is more positive than the current situation.

  1. Sort Out Your Anger

After the interaction, take the time to work out your own stress. Whether or not you end the conversation with your client on a positive note, there is bound to be some residual frustration pent up inside you. Eat something, vent to a coworker, blast some angry music in your headphones, whatever you need to do to get the last of those negative feelings out, do it. If you don’t, you may be put back in the same situation you just got out of, only the roles will be reversed and you may be rude to someone you cannot afford to be rude to, like an important client or your boss.