When you’re selling hot tubs, you’re dealing with customers making a big investment, who often bring big expectations to the table. Sometimes, they might show up with significant problems or complaints. You get to control how that conversation goes by the way you respond. My advice: Hear them out and thank them for their input. Even if you can’t immediately solve the issue, you can maintain a positive relationship.

The first step is to listen actively — not defensively — to what they have to say. Put yourself in their shoes and consider how you’d like to be treated when you’re sharing a concern or a complaint. Your full attention, sense of calm, and desire to make things right will defuse their negative emotions.

The real magic, however, comes when you simply say: “Thank you for asking” or “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

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Those simple phrases can practically change the weather. You prove that, above all, you appreciate the customer and put their interests first. Common courtesy, like common sense, is not always common, but in my experience, it’s always effective.

When you treat the customer that way because you really mean it — don’t try to fake it — they will value your character and your company even more. You establish a shared perspective with the other person: No matter the situation, there’s room for mutual respect.

This is far more fruitful than the typical “no problem” you often hear these days. The customer came with a problem — it’s an insult for you to say there’s no problem. Instead, treat them with respect, thank them for sharing, and when they thank you for listening and responding, say, “Our pleasure” or “You’re welcome.” The relationship will be stronger than it was before the issue arose.