Sale closed – time to ride off into the sunset?

  photo by JennyHuang

You established a great rapport with your prospect.

You didn’t dwell on your product’s features or benefits, instead you asked what the prospect needed – you even got into the detailed pain they are feeling.

You clearly established their need and how your product addresses their need.

The customer said “Sign me up”!  Delivery is scheduled for 2 weeks out.  You run back to your office to celebrate another successful sale!  Woohoo!  (insert your favorite celebration sound here…).

But hold on…your delivery team is telling you that the client isn’t returning their calls to setup the installation.  You play phone tag for 2 days and finally drive over to find out what’s going on.

Confronted, your prospect sheepishly admits that they’ve changed their mind, your competitor (the incumbent provider) made a better offer and they decided they don’t want to switch providers.

Frustrating and unavoidable?  Frustrating yes, but there are some things you can do to minimize this situation.

Reducing Buyer’s Remorse

Buyer’s remorse is an emotional condition whereby a person feels remorse or regret after a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of higher value items such as property, cars, computers, jewelry, etc.

Even if you did everything right, there’s a chance your prospect will have second thoughts after you leave the room.  So the time to address the possibility is before you leave the room.

Try this:  After the agreement’s been made, ask the prospect about some point that they may have questioned during the process. 

“Joe – I know you were initially concerned about the quality of the output.  Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

By asking up front, it gives the prospect the chance to waffle and more importantly to recommit to the sale.  If they do waffle at this point, at least you’re in the room and you can address their concerns and make sure it’s not a problem.

If you’re replacing an existing provider, you may even want to go so far as to roleplay how the prospect is going to break the bad news.  You could offer it up as a story –

“You know I had another client that left XYZ to join up with us and they were offered a month’s free service if they wouldn’t leave.  They decided to take the offer and ended up with even worse service than they had before and called us back 2 months later with a bigger headache than ever.”

Of course if your competition is willing to lose money on the deal to keep the client, there’s probably nothing you can do about it – odds are however that won’t be a sustainable strategy.  If that’s not the case, then prepping the prospect for the counteroffer (and why it’s a bad idea) will hopefully be enough to keep things on track.

Remember, they want to buy your product (and get away from the bad experience they’re currently having) – you may just need to help them through the process.

Do you have any experience with client’s backing out at the last minute?  Share them here – or share your strategies for avoiding them.

Shawn Kinkade