How to reconnect with wavering clients

By Julia Keady

Have a wavering client? The best thing you can do is be on their side and help them feel good about changing their sale.

The wavering client is a great woe for salespeople and business owners. They take up valuable time with the promise of a purchase, but getting them across the line can be more trouble than it's worth. This is especially frustrating if they have already said yes, but start to backpedal when it's time to put the money down. Here are a few things to think about to prevent this, or remedy it when it occurs.

1. Dropping the ball

In real estate, where this happens a lot, they have a saying: "It isn't sold until it's sold." This basically means you are still 'selling' right up to the point where the money is paid. This is good advice. Many people are convinced to purchase not by the product but by the person selling it. If the salesperson goes cold before the final whistle, the spell is broken and the client starts thinking about the merits of the product. A good salesperson is consistently attentive all the way, and a great one continues it for a while afterwards to help their customer through any buyer's remorse.

2. I object, Your Honour!

One of the oldest sales strategies in the book is to make the customer's objections before they do. Every purchase involves weighing the risks against the benefits, where the customer employs their 'inner judge'. If your customer leaves with a head full of benefits, but starts considering the risks later on, you're in trouble. In every sale you should be 'grounding' the decision by asking the customer about any objections they might have or any considerations they've failed to address. Sometimes trying to talk a customer out of the purchase is the surest way to talk them into it.

3. What did I miss?

Every purchase is an attempt to satisfy a basic human need. People don't buy Ferraris to drive fast, but to elevate their status among their peers. You sold him a car when he really wanted a girlfriend. Have a think about whether you missed the true motivator and go back to the customer with a different pitch that addresses it.

4. You were too good

Maybe you sold someone something they really can't afford or justify. You can avoid this by 'screening' your clients with some simple questions about their life situation.

5. Other people

Most big purchases require buy-in from other people. Spouses, partners, family, friends, bank managers, etc. You don't just have to get the client across the line, but their support network as well. A simple "What's the missus/mister going to think?" can often tell you whether you are wasting your time, or let you know what else you need to do to get there.

A wavering client is a resistant client. They feel guilty and pressured no matter what you do. The best thing is to be on their side and help them feel good about changing their mind, and maybe they will change it again in the future.


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