Avoiding Cancellations: How to Handle Your Buyer’s Remorse – Part 1

By Amy O’Connor

There are two positives to keep in mind about buyer’s remorse: One, it is predictable, and two, it’s a normal part of the buyer’s journey. Unfortunately, a buyer regretting their purchase decision catches too many salespeople off guard, and therefore they do not handle the situation properly.

Sometimes a sale is proceeding well when seemingly out of the blue the customer calls and says, “We’re having second thoughts.” What caused this phone call? What personal or market influences are driving your customer to cancel?

The bottom line is that if the salesperson is not on top of the situation, constantly countering negatives with positives, a cancellation is a strong possibility.

In sales, the question is rarely “if” a buyer will experience regret after a purchase (they frequently will and do), but the question is: What do you do when it happens? When the phone call comes, you will have very little time to respond and must be prepared with a plan.

To best assist a buyer through their remorse, you must first understand the core of all buyer’s regret is a lack of confidence. When your customer feels a lack of confidence, it is your job to fill in the confidence gaps they are experiencing.

There are two ways to do this: proactive confidence building (this falls under the category of expectation setting) and reactive confidence building (commonly known as “talking them off the ledge”).

In Part I of this two part blog series, I will walk you through the steps of how to use proactive confidence building to get ahead of buyer’s remorse. In Part 2 we will cover using reactive confidence building.

Proactive confidence building steps (Do this immediately after the buyer’s purchase and before they leave your sales office.)

1. Use Social Proof to Explain the Buyer’s Predictable Impending Regret

“Now that you have made this 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.”

2. Provide the path to confidence

“When that happens, and it will, I want you to do three things:

  • Remember why you made this purchase decision in the first place. (Remind the buyer of their mission.)
  • I want you to visualize enjoying your new xyz. (Help the buyer envision their future promise associated with their purchase.)
  • I want you to call me.

When you do those three things, you won’t allow yourself or anyone else to hold you back from moving forward with what you know is the right decision for you.”

3. Gain Agreement
“Fair enough?” or “Sound good?”

Proactive confidence building doesn’t prevent buyer’s remorse, but it does minimize it.

By setting expectations early with the buyer, getting ahead of their remorse and giving them step-by-step instructions of what to do when they start to panic about their purchase decision, you have provided the buyer a road map with which they can navigate their uncertainty.

You have provided resources to help them move through their doubt. In essence, you’ve given them the confidence and emotional energy needed to see their purchase decision all the way through!


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About the Author: Amy O'Connor

Amy O'Connor
Amy O’Connor brings a decade’s worth of industry experience and knowledge to her impactful and enlightening seminars. Working hand-in-hand with a majority of the top ten homebuilders in North America — as well as private and regional builders — Amy offers a wealth of real-world expertise managing, coaching and motivating new home sales professionals. Learn more at jeffshore.com and follow Amy on Twitter.