Have you ever been in the situation where the buyer tells you that they are moving forward with your product or service only to come back and tell you that they changed their mind at the last minute? This setback could have been the results of buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse is an emotional response on the part of a buyer in a sales transaction, the response may involve feelings of regret, fear, or anxiety at the end of the sales process or just after the sale has been made. Understanding how buyer’s remorse works and strategies to combat it, can minimize its’ impact on closing and keeping the sale.
Prospects can second guess their decisions based on a number of factors. In some cases people aren’t effective decision-makers which can lead them to have higher levels of self-doubt at the end of the sales process. Also, when the competition realizes they are losing the sale they may drop their price in a bid to compete and win the business back. These situations can lead to a delayed decision, no decision or push the prospect to stay with their current vendor.
Here are four strategies to help overcome buyer’s remorse:
1. Confirm the Sale
After the prospect indicates that they want to move forward, find a way to confirm the sale. If the prospect had some reservations early in the sales process, bring it up to make the prospect confirm that they are comfortable with their decision. For example you might say, “Earlier in the process you had some reservations around part of the deliverables, I want to make sure you are completely comfortable moving forward?” Make sure the prospect says “yes”. If you get the prospect to confirm the sale you decrease the probability that they will have buyer’s remorse.
2. Role Play the Prospect’s Conversation with the Competition
Many prospect’s get surprised by what the competition offers after they find out they are losing the sale. If you are the person winning the business, it is important that you discuss what the prospect should say if the competition gives them the “godfather” close – “I will do anything to keep or win the business”. Tell the prospect to say, “I appreciate the offer but I have made my decision and there is nothing you can say or do to have me change my mind.”
3. Be a Worst Case Scenario Thinker
At the completion of the sale, think of any worst case scenarios or surprises that could possible come up that would make the prospect feel regret, fear, or anxiety about the decision they just made. Are there any roadblocks that could delay the implementation or the deliverable? Preparing the prospect for any potential problems will help minimize any negative emotional response.
4. Articulate Next Steps
Setting specific expectations of exactly what will happen after the sale can help minimize the anxiety associated with buyer’s remorse. Expectation management both during and after the sale can be an effective way to deal with and eliminate any confusion or possible disappointment. If there may be delays or additional costs down the road bring them up as a part of the closing process. It is much easier to solve problems if we are proactive at the end of the sale.
While you might not be able to completely eliminate buyer’s remorse, these strategies can buffer the prospect from the negative emotional swings that can unravel a sale at the end. Proactively dealing with buyer’s remorse can be the most effective way to help the prospect overcome it.