Avoiding Cancellations: How to Handle Your Buyer’s Remorse – Part 2

By Amy O’Connor 

In part I of this two part blog series we discussed how to use proactive confidence building to get ahead of buyer’s remorse. Now we will cover using reactive confidence to combat buyer’s remorse that has already set in.

When a buyer wants to cancel, sometimes it is for legitimate reasons and other times the reason for canceling is based on a catastrophization in the buyer’s mind.

Catastrophizing is when the buyer starts to create stories in their head that then become their reality. Stories help buyers justify why they buy, but also why they don’t buy. When a buyer decides not to buy it is often because they have catastrophized the outcome of the purchase.

Example: “If I buy this home, living out here is a bit far from my work. If I live too far from the office I am probably going to be late for work occasionally. But if occasionally becomes too often then my boss will fire me. If that happens, I will have to sell the house and move back with my sister. We don’t get along, so we will end up not speaking to each other. If I buy this house I’m going to lose my job and my life is going to be ruined!”

Catastrophization stories may seem ridiculous to us, but in the buyer’s mind they are very real and therefore must be taken seriously.

If a buyer tells you they want to cancel, your job is to diagnose whether they are canceling for a legitimate reason or are they basing their decision off of a catastrophization story. If you uncover a catastrophization, you have a shot at getting the buyer back on track to achieving their original mission. Here’s how:

Buyer: “Hey Deborah, I think we’ve made a terrible mistake. We talked it through last night, and we want to cancel the contract. What do we need to do to get our money back?”

1. Empathize

“First off, thank you for feeling comfortable enough to share with me what is going on. I know that any big purchase decision is extremely overwhelming filled with a ton of uncertainty.

2. Get to The “Why” Behind the “What”

“That being said, can you share with me what you are seeing going wrong?”

“Tell me more.”

3. Revisit the Dissatisfaction

“Got it. Let’s think this through so I can help.  We talked a lot about why your current (insert product/service) isn’t a good option for you. <Remind the buyer of the specifics of the current dissatisfaction.>. Right”?

4. Use Social Proof

“Here’s what I can tell you for a fact, everyone who makes this purchase decision goes through what you are feeling right now. (Share story of someone who moved forward and how they are glad they made the decision). You are what we like to call “normal!”

5. Revisit the Future Promise

“Now let’s go through and identify all the reasons why you felt this was right for you and your family. Imagine….” (paint a picture of their Future Promise)

6. Gain Agreement

“I know that’s what you really want and that means pushing through the fear of it all. I am with you on this. Let’s stay on-track and keep moving forward. Okay?”

All said, whether a contract stays together or not often depends on the salesperson. When the “I want to cancel” phone call comes (and it will), you must be ready. You must know exactly what to say and how to say it. Remember, the buyer is counting on you!


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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.