Everyone knows about buyer’s remorse. But have you ever experienced seller’s remorse?
That’s when you discover that your too-good-to-be-true sale was, in fact, too good to be true. When a sweet deal turns into a nightmare of blame, recrimination and accusations. When that wonderful new customer you signed last month just won’t be satisfied no matter what you do.
In the end, an unhappy buyer becomes a liability for you. You’re not likely to get repeat business. You won’t get a referral. The buyer may bad-mouth you to other customers and prospects. And all that time you spend trying to meet the buyer’s unreasonable expectations could have been spent more productively.
Some cranky buyers are born that way, of course. But many are created – by the very salespeople they end up torturing. In the pursuit of a sale, some sellers allow the buyer to set unreasonable expectations. They tell themselves they can get the sale now and manage expectations later.
That never works. If you allow a buyer to walk away from a sale with unreasonable expectations, expect a lot of unreasonableness down the road.
Buyers with unreasonable expectations create a dilemma for salespeople. You want them to be excited. You want them to think you’re terrific. And you certainly don’t want to talk yourself out of a sale.
There is an approach that allows you to get the sale without setting yourself up for problems later. In fact, if you handle it right, your buyer will think you’re even more terrific.
When you get the sense that your buyer’s expectations are out of alignment, call a time out. Make it clear to them that you want to ensure your buyer’s success, and then articulate your hesitations. From there, work with your buyer to create a plan that sets up what they expect from you, and what you’ll expect from them in order to make this sale work for both of you. Once you’ve come to an agreement about those expectations, you can move forward with the sale.
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