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Don’t Buy Back Tomorrow what You Sold Today


Every time somebody says “yes” to us, that “yes” is conditional.

One of David Sandler’s classic selling rules sounds like a bit of a riddle when you first hear it: Don’t buy back tomorrow what you sold today.

Why would you ever do that? Who would want to? And under what circumstances would it possibly happen?

The truth is this buy-back happens all the time. But we can prevent it. It’s called buyer’s remorse.

We've all run into situations where we received a “yes” from the buyer, and then for some reason, the relationship went dark. We couldn't get them back on the phone. Or they canceled through email or text. Or even contacted someone else in the organization and cancelled the order.

The point is, we could never get face-to-face or voice-to-voice with them to figure out what happened … and maybe put the deal back together.

The key to avoiding this painful experience is to acknowledge that every time somebody says “yes” to us – whether we are face-to-face or virtual – that “yes” is conditional.

Selling starts after the “Yes”. That’s when we start asking questions to help the buyer navigate the emotionally difficult experience of doubt that often follows a purchase decision.

One way to do this is to think of a minor objection that came up during the sales cycle and bring it back up for discussion. This kind of decision may run counter to our instinct to “close the deal,” but it needs to be part of our sales process.

Here’s a quick example. “Mary, I know you wanted the product in blue; we only have red. And you said that was going to be okay. I just want to confirm, before we conclude our discussion, that red really is going to be all right with you.”

When Mary thinks it over for a moment and then says, “Yes, actually red is fine,” something important takes place. She has psychologically closed the file. She’s good. She’s gone through the process of setting aside doubt. And we helped her to do that!

It's the role of the seller to help remove the fear, doubt, and worry buyers have about making the right decision. We need to play the role of the psychiatrist to help them process their natural insecurity, and work to overcome it.

What David Sandler was suggesting is that we make a conscious choice to help buyers overcome those fears, doubts, and worries while they are still in front of us … so we don’t end up having to buy back the product or service that we sold today.

Sandler Brief

Sandler Brief

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