Congratulations! Your prospect has said “Yes!” to your proposal and you have an order in your hand. It is time to celebrate your win . . . well, almost. Instead of heading for the hills with PO in hand, sit tight in the prospect’s office for a little while longer. You have one more important step to accomplish before you are finished. Some prospects, although few (10% to 15%), will actually change their minds about buying from you after they told you “Yes.” This takes us to the final step in the professional selling process which is called the Post-Sell. There is nothing more deflating then driving across town back to your office with the purchase order in hand only to find a voice message on your machine saying “Hold on to that PO. We have a few more things to figure out before we can cut it loose.” OUCH!
There are four important parts in the Post-Sell phase to reduce the chance that your prospect will change their mind after buying. Keep in mind this step won’t take it to 0%, but we can definitely reduce it to close to 1%. Here are the parts that make up Post-Sell.
1. Buyer’s Remorse – This is an actual psychological condition that people go through when they buy something significant. When you close the order on your product or service, the prospect will go through buyer’s remorse and possibly change their mind. The question is when do you want the prospect to go through this: before or after you leave? In order to get buyer’s remorse to start while you are still sitting there, you must ask a question that no amateur that is heading for the hills with PO in hand would ever ask: “Thank you for the order. I am glad we will be working together but I must ask you, do you believe you made a good decision today?” I know, it sounds like you are trying to talk the prospect out of the order. Actually, you kind of are. This question gets the prospect to start the buyer’s remorse process and you can professionally nurture them through it because you haven’t left yet! If the prospect actually changes their mind here, they were going to change their mind anyway. But what happens is they rarely ever change their mind, and when you leave and buyer’s remorse sets in, they recall your question and ensuing conversation and then dismiss it.
2. Vendor’s Vengeance – Just because you got the order, don’t expect you competitors to just lie down and throw in the towel. They will follow up and when they learn that you were given the order, they might sweeten their deal with lower prices or increased offering. Some prospects will jump on these sweet deals and then here comes the voice message. To reduce the possibility of losing orders here, ask the following question: “I have good competitors and I know they will be calling you to follow up on this opportunity. What will you tell them when they call? Would you change your mind if they sweetened their offer?” If the prospect says they might, then the order is not closed. Give back the PO and tell the prospect that you will pick it up after it is certain that no deals will be made. You can even offer to call the competitors for the prospect to give them the “good” news.
3. Next Steps – It is very important to make sure the prospect understands how implementation will happen, especially if it will interfere with normal business operation. Billing procedures and processes must be clearly understood and this is the time to get you and the prospect on the same page. New relationships can be damaged if there is not a clear understanding on how the relationship will onboard.
Remember, when the prospect says “Yes” you still have work to do. Address buyer’s remorse, make sure your competitors don’t steal your victory, and have a clear understanding with the prospect on what happens next. Don’t be like the amateur salesperson who, once they have PO in hand, heads for the hills.
Sandler Training is a global training organization with over three decades of experience and proven results. Sandler provides sales and management training and consulting services for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as corporate training for Fortune 1000 companies. For more information, please contact Karl Schaphorst at (402) 403-4334 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow his blog at karlschaphorst.sandler.com