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What to do when prospects change their minds


Have you ever been frustrated because a prospect changed their mind in the middle of the sales process for no apparent reason?

A while back, one of my clients that's a contractor had put together a claim for a customer that was going to be covered by his insurance company. He gave the customer a call to tell him the status of everything. During that conversation, the customer started telling my client that he may not be a good fit, and that he was thinking of getting a couple more bids.

My client was taken aback, as it was the exact opposite of all the conversations they'd had before. While my client didn't take it personally, he was confused by the change.

During the phone call, he said to his customer, "I may not be explaining this well. Would you be open to meeting in person?" The customer agreed.

Later that same day, my client met with his sales manager. She suggested that he practice something we talk about in Sandler often, five seconds of guts.

She recommended he be very up front with his customer and say something like, "I have to admit, I was caught off guard by our earlier conversation. Now that I've had some time to think about it, can I ask why you changed your mind?"

The next day, he met with the client and asked the question. It turned out it was a very minor miscommunication!

The customer got the words "deductible" and "depreciation" mixed up. He thought that my client wouldn't be able to help him cover his deductible. My client talked through what the situation actually was, got it all cleared up, and the customer signed the contract.

It's amazing how small miscommunications like that can make a difference. In Sandler, we call that mutual mystification.

How often have you been talking to a potential customer or client and all of a sudden they changed their mind. Did you just let it go, or did you dig into what was going on?

Of course, tonality is very important. But if you have just five seconds of guts and ask a simple question to eliminate mutual mystification, it can make a huge difference! You may or may not save the sale, but you'll definitely learn a lesson.

Mike Crandall

Mike Crandall

Crandall is the Principal of Sandler in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He works with business owners and motivated individuals to create and implement Professional Development Strategies to foster the growth of individuals, teams, and organizations.