How You Should Handle Sales Cancellations – Part 1

By Ryan Taft

I have several pet peeves. It drives me nuts when I am at an airport in the baggage claim area and people stand right up against the baggage carousel as if no one else needes to pick up their luggage. I also get perturbed when someone takes up two parking spots with one car. My biggest pet peeve…is making a sale only to have it cancel.

I will say there are legit reasons for a cancellation. A death in the family could cause someone from purchasing a home or car. A job transfer could cause a customer to cancel the solar package you sold them three weeks ago. These are understandable reasons for someone changing their mind.

The other type of cancellation falls under the category of “Buyer’s Remorse.” I think it’s fair to say that everyone experiences buyer’s remorse at some point or another. You purchase a new car and as you are driving off the lot, you think, “What the heck did I just do?” Or maybe you bought a home and a relative said to you the next day, “You bought a home…in this market? Are you an idiot?”

So what exactly is buyer’s remorse? In a nutshell it is a lack of confidence. That lack of confidence could be from you or from someone else…a.k.a. a #hater

How do you handle a lack of confidence? There are two things you can do. First, you can proactively build up a customer’s confidence before the buyer remorse happens. This is known as expectation setting. Second, you have to replace the confidence the customer has lost. This is commonly referred to as “Talking someone off the ledge.”

For the rest of this article, I will cover three things you can do to set expectations before the remorse happens. In my next article, I will walk you through how to talk your customer off the ledge.

What to do:

Use Social Proof to Explain The Potential Regret – “Now that you have made the decision to change your life, let me explain what is likely to happen. In fact, I see it all the time. You will walk out the door and ask yourselves, “What the heck did we just do?” Then there will be someone else who will ask you the same thing. I call this “mind-boogey”. It’s normal and natural.”
Provide The Path Back To Confidence – “When that happens, and it likely will, I want you to do three things:
​Remember why you are ________ (moving, buying this car, getting this insurance policy, etc. The goal is to remind them of their big why).
​I want you to visualize a moment of enjoying your new ________ (home, car, etc. The idea is to paint a picture of them using or enjoying your product or service in the future).
​I want you to call me.
When you do those three things, you won’t allow yourself or anyone else to hold you back.”

Gain Agreement – “Does that work for you?”
What I love about these three steps is that it links the negative thought, or mind boogie, to a series of positive actions.

Of course, you can’t keep them all from canceling and as I tell my coaching clients; your job is to take the sale as far as it will go. That means setting the right expectations. When you do that, you will keep them on track to changing their world.

Stay tuned for my next article, which will discuss what to do when the buyer actually cancels the sale.


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About the Author: Ryan Taft

Ryan Taft
Ryan Taft is consumed with a passion for helping others achieve breakthrough results in sales, business and life. With a career spanning two decades training and coaching sales teams from call centers to new home sales to Realtors®, Ryan combines his knowledge of human performance, psychology and sales skills development to deliver extraordinarily engaging, energizing and insightful training experiences that drive peak performance at all levels.  Learn more at and follow Ryan on Twitter.