Closing Tough Sales – Put the Shoe on the Buyer’s Foot

42209 Put the ShoeWhen it comes to closing tough sales, it’s wise to mentally walk the proverbial ‘mile in the other person’s shoes’ so you can gain a clear understanding of their feelings about your company, your brand, or the specific product you market. In order to lower their defenses and open their minds to allowing you to serve their needs, it’s also critical that you put the shoe on the buyer’s foot.

This strategy is particularly helpful in situations where you are calling on a client who had a bad past experience with another representative of your company. You will have to work twice as hard to earn their business as you would with a buyer who has had little or no experience with your company.

This buyer will have built a pretty high wall of sales resistance, but just the fact that he or she has agreed to meet with you speaks volumes. Perhaps they love the product but just didn’t like the previous representative. You will have to sell yourself first.

This potentially tough conversation might begin like this: “The last guy from your company sold us the product then never called again. We had an issue with it right after installation and he wouldn’t return my calls. I have to tell you I was pretty fed up with the whole thing.” Ouch!

Even though you weren’t the “bad guy” in this situation, you are there to represent your company well. Start by apologizing for how the client was treated. “Let me begin by apologizing for how you were treated in the past.” It’s really that simple. Most people just want their discomfort or unhappiness acknowledged.

Then, to break down that wall of resistance, say: “Just for a moment, would you please pretend that you’re the owner of my company. You’ve just learned that one of your representatives has damaged your relationship with a valued client. How would you handle that situation?” This allows the buyer to envision the challenge being resolved. They might say, “I’d fire the jerk.” They might say, “I’d send that guy back through training or get him out of customer service all together.” It doesn’t really matter what they say. Just listen. Let them get it all out.

Then, take charge of the remedy yourself by saying, “That’s might very well be what happened because I’ve been assigned the task of resolving any past issues you had with our company and to provide you with excellent service going forward. Help me understand your needs so we can determine how best to serve them.” With those words you’ve just hurdled that wall of sales resistance and landed softly on the same side as your buyer.

If you never address that “elephant in the room” — the other salesperson or the bad equipment or poor service — the buyer will stay ever vigilant for the moment you prove yourself to be just like that other guy and provide disappointment. Would you rather help your buyers to be watchful for how great your service is?

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc. For reprint permission, please contact Judy Slack (
Learn more strategies like this and improve the results your sales efforts are getting.
Get More Info Here!



Click to get Closing Sales is Easy eBook by Tom Hopkins

Speak Your Mind