How You Should Handle Sales Cancellations – Part 2

By Ryan Taft

​In my last blog, Handling Cancellations Part 1, I laid out the framework for preventing a cancellation before it happens. If you missed it, click here to check it out. In part two, let’s tackle what to do when the buyer is actually canceling the sale.

First and foremost let me address what not to do. Don’t get offended! Remember that from my last blog I said that buyer’s remorse is something everyone experiences at some point or another. When you get offended, or defensive, you are making the problem worse. What you are showing the customer is that the sale was actually all about you.

When a buyer wants to cancel, sometimes it is for legitimate reasons and other times the reason for canceling is due to plain old fear. Your job is to diagnose which it is. If you uncover a fear-based reason, you have a shot at getting the buyer back on track to achieving their original mission.

Here are six steps to getting the sale back on track:


Instead if getting upset simply acknowledge the tough spot your customer is in. I recommend thinking of a time when you wanted to cancel and how you felt. Empathy lets your buyer know this is a safe place to share his or her concerns without being attacked. Learn more about empathy, by listening to this episode of The Buyer’s Mind.

Diagnose the “Why”

You have to understand what the core root of the cancellation is. Most of the time the customer will tell you it is something that is an easy fix, but when you fix it, they still want to cancel. The reason for that is there is a deeper issue. Try asking a question like, “What are you imagining going wrong if you owned my product or service?”

Revisit The Customer’s Mission

People buy emotionally…and they cancel emotionally as well. Instead of using logic to save the sale, go back to the emotional reason they needed your product or service to begin with. If you are selling cars and their current car has broken down a few times, remind them of the frustration they told you about when they originally purchased. ***Pro Tip – That means you should find out the emotional mission when making the initial sale.

Use Social Proof 

People tend to do what other people like them tend to do. That’s social proof. To use social proof properly you will have to share a story of another customer that was going to cancel and didn’t. Share how elated that customer is and how happy they are they didn’t cancel. Make sure the story you share is true.

Go Back To The Future

I don’t mean have them watch the movie BTTF (although I do think everyone should do this because it’s a great movie). I mean get the customer focused on how their life will improve having, or using, your product in the future. Ask them to tell you what specifically will improve when they own your product.

Gain Agreement 

You want to make sure your customer is totally back on track. Do that by asking, “Let’s stay on track and get this (home, car, insurance policy, etc.) for you, okay?”

Nowadays customers try to cancel over email. I urge you to get on a call or talk in person. This will allow you to uncover more emotions whereas email is very two-dimensional.

Your job is to take the sale as far as it will go. Working on your ability to save cancellations might be the skill that helps you beat out your competition and in the process…continue to change your customer’s world.


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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.