Managing Expectations with Unrealistic Customers

Access this video now and discover how to effectively bring buyer’s back to reality when they have unrealistic expectations about what you can deliver. You’ll learn:

  • How to have a tough talk with buyers – without scaring them off
  • The best time to manage buyers’ unreasonable expectations
  • A simple technique that can help you get the commitment you need to be successful

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Here’s how it works: Submit your request and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Selling Essentials Rapid Learning Center. There you’ll find your training video on the managing customer expectations and a collection of other training resources for sales professionals. You’ll have unlimited trial access to this powerful library of sales training videos, reports and fast-read articles.

More information for those who love the details …

This powerful sales training video gives you details on how to use the “Reverse Cold Feet Technique” to align buyer expectations with reality – in a way that isn’t confrontational and won’t undermine your chances of winning the sale.

Why unrealistic customers must be brought back to earth

You probably have pretty good antennae and can sense when buyers are expecting more than you can deliver. You can feel it in you gut when the terms they’re asking for are just unrealistic. But in your eagerness to get the sale, you don’t challenge the buyer. You rationalized that you’ll “educate” them later on. That sets you – and your customer – up for complete disaster.

Gaps between expectation and reality can be fatal – and many of the problems start before you even close the sale. Any time your gut tells you you’re being overly optimistic, you’re likely facing a client relationship that’s fraught with peril.

Since each customer has a vastly different perception and expectation of their project, it’s critical to uncover this upfront.
– Keith Rosen,

So what can you do? You can get cold feet. You know what it’s like when buyers get cold feet. You’re on the brink of closing the deal and they dig in. They’re scared – there’s a lot on the line so they slam on the brakes out of fear.

Guess what? There’s a lot on the line for the seller, too. Your time and energy. Your reputation. Your long-term success.

Access the training video “Managing Expectations With Unrealistic Customers” and find out how to prevent potentially great sales from turning into disasters.

How to win the sale without promising something you can’t deliver

Here’s a point many salespeople forget: If the deal isn’t right, it’s perfectly okay for the seller to get cold feet. That doesn’t mean walking away from the sale. It means calling a time out and sending the message that you won’t go forward until YOU’RE comfortable that expectations are aligned.

We call this the “Reverse Cold Feet technique”. It acts as a wake-up call to buyers even when they’d rather avoid the tough issues. Yet it’s unlikely to put the sale at risk.

Why? Because it’s not confrontational. You’re not issuing an ultimatum. You’re simply saying, “Not yet.” And a buyer who wants to move forward will want to remove the obstacles. Just like you would if a buyer got cold feet.

Here are the steps in the Reverse Cold Feet Technique:

  • When you feel expectations are out of whack, call a time out.
  • Frame your concern around your need to make the buyer a success
  • Create a project plan that explains what’s expected from the buyer, and what the buyer can expect from you.

This technique forces an overoptimistic buyer to take a hard look at what needs to happen to ensure success, and to commit to making it happen.

The best time to align expectations

Timing is critical when you use the Reverse Cold Feet technique. You must bring your buyer’s expectations in line before you close the sale. After you’ve agreed to the deal, it’s going to be up to you to meet your buyer’s expectations, whether those expectations are realistic or not. And if you try to “manage expectations” after you’ve said yes, your explanations are going to sound like excuses.

Will buyers get angry and walk away if you put on the brakes? If they’re a client worth serving, no way. When your concerns are experience-based, and you frame them in terms customer satisfaction, buyers gain confidence in you. In the long run, properly aligned expectations lead to a better outcome – for both you and your customer.

Access “Managing Expectations with Unrealistic Customers” as part of a free trial to the Selling Essentials Rapid Learning Center and help your team sharpen their most critical selling skills.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO/Director of Learning and Development, The Rapid Learning Institute


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