What is the funniest customer memory you can recall?

November 4, 2009 by Shirleen Von Hoffmann Leave a reply »


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12 Responses

  1. Tamara Senibaldi says:

    Tamara Senibaldi
    Sales and Marketing Manager at Phillips Builders

    When I first started out in new home sales I was working in a first time buyer neighborhood in a suburb of Nashville. A couple to whom I sold a house came in during a storm while their house was still under construction and they were quite agitated. They were demanding to know what I intended to do about the water running down their “chimbley”. I was 21 years old and smart enough to know that there were many things I still needed to learn about new construction. I had no idea what a “chimbley” was or what to do about the water running down it. I kept asking questions about the water and the mysterious “chimbley” until I ascertained that they were talking about their chimney. I assured them that once the flashing and roof was installed they should not have any worries. They left satisfied and I brushed up on my Tennessee vernacular!

  2. darryl salls says:

    Darryl Salls
    Broker/Manager at Century 21 Energy Shield Realty

    As a real estate broker I have gotten used to walking in a house to show it and having underwear scattered about and finding people still in bed naked even with me notifying them we were coming 24 hours before. My best/worse one was to walk into a house the morning of the closing for the final walkthrough and finding the seller had painted the hardwood floors, which looked good, with red deck paint. The seller said she thought there were a few worn spots and the red paint made it look better! My buyer was not impressed. The seller started crying saying she thought the buyer would like it better.
    We did get it to close but not without everyone giving a bit to get the floors refinished

  3. suzanne Gignoux says:

    Suzanne Gignoux
    Salesperson at Keller Williams OC Coastal Realty

    Broker Preview is a day when Realtors pitch and show the newly listed homes to sell. One preview, I walked into a home and there was a man sitting on the toilet with the door open. I pretended to have poor eyesight and quickly stepped out onto the balcony to stare at the harbor. This was the Realtors own home and husband. The Realtor came out and discussed the area amenities and we ignored what had just happened. Why didn’t he close the door?

  4. Lawrence.crow@aol.com says:

    Lawrence Crow

    From when I was a meat department clerk as a young lad, we had pork chops on sale, and had run out before the sale was over. I had a customer who was drunk tell me, “I don’t care if you ain’t got none, I want some, ya hear me boy, huh huh huh?” And he meant it. I almost keeled over laughing! But I held it back. That was over 30 years ago and I still laugh about it.

  5. Wayne Musch says:

    Wayne Musch
    Sales and Marketing at Pen-Tech Publishing

    I once dealted with a customer whose computer was not working. He did not want to send it in to be repaired, he wanted a new one, right here right now.
    As I was talking to him at the customer service counter where there were several other customers and employees, I tried to move him over to the side of the counter as he became a bit more shall we say loud. wjile explaining the process we would follow to get his computer repaired he SLAMMED his hand on the counter and said: “Do you realize that I make 30,000 dollars a year and I didn’t get to that level of power by taking NO for an answer” he went on to say with one phone call he could have me terminated and if I wanted to re-think my decision and replace his computer rather than repair it.

    What makes this even better, after he had left a customer came up to me started laughing and told me “I wonder if he knows that I pay about 30,000 dollars in taxes”

  6. Katie Roth says:

    Katie Roth
    Business Development Executive at Midco

    When working as an Asst. Store Manager in the car rental business I would often deal with very upset customers wanting to rent a car when they didn’t qualify. At that time, if you wanted to rent using a debit card or cash you would have to bring in your phone bill and a utility bill to prove that you were trustworthy aka paying your bills on time, no late fees etc. Well this particular customer that was trying to rent was way over on his bills- I politely told him that unfortunately we would not be able to rent him a car. At first he was nice, telling me his sob story of why he couldn’t pay his bills and why he needed to rent the car. I kept apologizing and telling me unfortunately I could not rent to him. His attitude quickly changed when he realized I wasn’t going to give in. He called me a hoity toity b**** since I obviously thought I was better than him because I paid my bills on time. And then he proceeded to tell me that he was going to call the owner of the company and I would lose my job and then he was going to sue and by the end of this he would own the company. Once he finally left we had a good laugh over the whole ordeal and needless to say I kept my job and surprising he did not become the new owner of the company!

  7. Shirleen Von Hoffmann says:

    One time as a financial person, I had a married couple come to me and they kept separate bank accounts and finances. Neither knew the other was a spender.

    Once they started disclosing all their debt they found out that both of them were big time spenders. They each had over 100K in debt going out to charge cards and autos! They couldn’t believe and neither could I. It was pretty funny the looks on their faces as the other disclosed debt after debt after debt. Afterwards, I needed a drink!! All I could say was, you two must have alot of STUFF in your house!

  8. Wayne,

    Thanks for those giggles!

  9. Andrew Seiger says:

    Andrew Zeiger
    EVP, CRO at AnchorFree

    We had a presentation at an ad agency regarding placement of their clients advertisement in our upcoming issue covering accounting sw for their client.

    The agency director was sitting next to us reviewing our printed power point presentation which our marketing team had carefully filled with some self serving dribble about our audience’s desire to buy ungodly amounts of accounting / tax software.

    Our client, who was and I am sure still is, a wonderful, professional person was genuinely engaged in the content. She was also afflicted with a mild form of Tourette’s syndrome which manifested itself as a tick somewhere between a cough and a sneeze. Unfortunately she was also quite ill that day, actually coughing and sneezing quite a bit. Differentiating the sounds was not so easy so I just did my best to ignore it.

    This became difficult when 5 minutes into our discussion some combination of tick or cough or sneeze expelled a gelatinous mass of goo about the size of a dime right into the middle of the page we were reviewing.

    This was awkward.

    Fortunately after about 2 extremely long seconds of silence where we both were fixated on the bodily secretion, an executive admin ran into the room screaming ” I cut my finger”!!!!

    Holding the wrist of her injured hand, she displayed a quarter inch slice on the tip of her index finger.

    It was bleeding liberally.

    I began to fear the direction in which the meeting was headed and excused myself because “it seemed to be a bad time for them”.

    On the bright side, I did get a P/O a few days later.

  10. Andrew Marks says:

    Andrew Marks
    Principal at Servitium Partners

    Kind of a customer story….

    I was working in enterprise software selling CRM systems and one of the SE’s on the account, not the snappiest dresser in the group, showed up downstairs at the bar the night before a big presentation complaining that his suit had become very wrinkled during the flight out to the client. He was complaining that he was bad with the iron and didn’t want to show up in a wrinkled garment and was about to head back up to his room in an attempt to iron out the creases without sharing in the libations of the evening.

    Someone in the group piped up and mentioned that old travelers trick of hanging your garments up in a steaming hot shower which would help significantly with the wrinkles. So the SE ended up staying and drinking with us stating he would do that when he got back up to the room.

    He apparently had too much to drink because the next day when we all gathered in the lobby, out of the elevator came the SE, in his suit, dripping wet. He apparently went back up to his room, put his suit in the shower, set the heat to its highest setting and then proceeded to pass out on his bed. His suit absorbed all the steam and he ended up with a true “wet-suit”.

    We made him go back up to his room to try and dry it as best as possible with the in-room iron, but he was rather damp during the demo.

  11. Andrew, thanks I am still laughing but EEEEEWWWWHHHHHH!

  12. Tony Siciliano says:

    Having been in software sales since the 1980’s, I have had more than a few funny sales moments, but the most recent one happened back in June. A customer of mine who already owned a specific product of ours was working with me on a new deal. We discussed quantities, the need for the product, and some specifics that would allow them some added deployment flexibility. The two women from XYZ Customer and I were getting along great with lots of laughter and joking mixed in amongst the business talk. All of a sudden, out of the blue, they started laughing like crazy. It turns out that someone from their West Coast office (both of us are in MA), who had no idea that our meeting was taking place, sent them an email asking if they had purchased my product yet! The timing was unbelievable. The two women on the other end of the phone starting laughing like crazy, in part because we were having such an enjoyable meeting anyway, and I was wondering what the hell I had said to induce such laughter. They then forwarded the email to me, and pretty much all we did for the remainder of the call was to laugh at the unbelievable timing of the email that they had received in the middle of our meeting. We tried to draw some analogies of this incident, and none of us could come close.

    Well, I didn’t get the deal closed until a month later, after the usual approvals were acquired. Their satisfaction with the product is high, but it does take me back to this Sales 101 fact-of-life: people buy on emotion and justify with facts. Logic is great, but if you are boring your prospects to death, the odds on them buying your products are just about zero. Keep the humor professional with no profanities, and you’ll be a step ahead of your competition. People buy from people who they like.

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