My job is selling technology. Actually I'm more of a translator. I sell technology to other businesses and that's where things get weird. There is a bewildering array of tech out there and unfortunately many companies think technology sells itself and the value that the technology delivers should be obvious. Wrong. That's where I come in. I said I was a translator. My job is to translate techno babble into value that customers understand. This blog share my adventures with high tech sales. Selling high tech is fun so come join me on my sales journey!

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Buyer's remorse - Losing the Sale after the Sale

Those following my articles on the psychology of sales will be aware of the thought process of the seller and the buyer to the point where the decision to buy is made.  Sales is a marriage the relationship often continues after the  deal has been struck.

Buyer's remorse is when the buyer has a sense of regret after having made the purchase. Often it is when
the buyer has been swept along and purchased an expensive or extravagant item. It can also be due to
feeling suspicious about the seller after the event.

I first came across this as a young naive teenager when my brother-in-law bought a Morgan sports can. It
was something he had always wanted.  Yet that night he couldn't sleep. The decision weighed heavy on his
mind whether he had done the right thing.  So the car went back in the morning!

Why does it happen? 

There are many reasons.  In the case of my brother-in-law it wasn't a case of being "mis-sold". The desire for the car was a long standing passion.  In his case it was a disconnect between his desires and reality.  
I have never discussed it with him but I would guess the thoughts running through his mind at the time were

"Can I really afford this"
"Do I really need this"

The buying decision was an emotional one.  Once the emotions had subsided the logical brain raised questions which lead to fears and anxiety.

So what can sales professionals do to avoid remorseful or worse still resentful buyers?

There will always be buyers that wonder whether they have made the right decision. 

The obvious thing to do is to take steps to make sure that the buyer doesn't internalise their own fears and anxieties into blaming the salesman for their decision. How can you do this?

Firstly never force the person into the sale. If you sense there are fears, objections then acknowledge their fears and get them to discuss them.  Bring these into the open.

If they look uncertain when they make the purchase decision, explain what will happen if they change their mind.  Some industries, particularly financial products, often have a legal cooling off period anyway.

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