Nick was having a real string of successful closes. The experienced salespeople were jealous. But then Nick started having a problem.
The last three sales were canceled within days of being made. In one instance, the color was all wrong. In another, the customer said that she couldn’t wait two weeks. Finally, although the quality of the product was first rate, the customer decided she couldn’t afford it. In every instance, none of the folks wanted to have any further discussion—the orders were canceled. Period.
Nick decided that he really needed to attend the company sales training program.
Later that same day, a young couple came in and chose the highest-quality and most expensive product in the store.
“This is the one we want. We’ll order it now.”
As Nick was writing up the order, he stopped and stared at the couple. He could not believe the words coming out of his mouth.
“I hope you don’t change your mind, but let me ask you something. When you first came in, you were looking for a moderately priced item, and you’ve selected the most expensive item in the store. Are you sure you really want to do this?”
“You’re right,” replied the woman, “I’d probably think that tomorrow, but looking at it now, I know the price is worth it. Yes. We want it. No doubts.”
Without knowing what he was doing, Nick gave the customer a chance to deal with buyer’s remorse. Every customer gets buyer’s remorse, which is nothing more than asking the question, “Did I do the right thing buying?” In this instance, Nick allowed the customer to express doubt while he could do something about it.
Buyer’s remorse is a given with any significant purchase. The buyer will always ask himself, “Did I do the right thing?”
As Nick found out, buyer’s remorse, if left unattended, results in canceled orders.
There is also a more insidious version of this remorse which is even more detrimental. The order is not canceled, but the customer is not happy with the purchase. This does not mean the customer is badmouthing the product/service, but neither is the customer “good-mouthing” the product/service. This happens often.
The result of this form of buyer’s remorse is the customer never comes back. He never tells you why; he just never shows up again. No repeat sales.
The simplest, yet most difficult thing to do from the salesperson’s point of view is to give the prospect a chance to “unbuy” once he buys. Here’s the catch with this tactic: Don’t just ask if the prospect wants to change his mind - pick out a minor item that once concerned your prospect and that he stated was no longer a problem, and ask about that. If the prospect starts to “unbuy” on a minor point, then you need to start asking questions.
“At the beginning you mentioned that the color wasn’t right, but if I have it correct, you no longer feel that way and you still want to go ahead?”
Either the prospect will reconfirm her decision and not suffer from buyer’s remorse, or the remorse will immediately surface. You control how you will handle the remorse. This is preferable to having the prospect return when you are not there at all and back out of the sale.
Dealing with buyer’s remorse before you make the sale will result in a customer who will be happy to buy more products and services from you.
Only the best sales reps can consistently navigate the "last mile" of the sale. They ensure ahead of time, that the customer has a problem their solution can solve, a budget they are willing to spend, and a decision-making process within which they can succeed.
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