reinforce buyer decision

The “sale after the sale” ensures that your new customer has no buyer’s remorse, remains sold and is proud of the decision to buy. Reinforce their buying decision.


Have you ever been in a situation in which you bought something, then realized there was a choice that better met your needs — but it wasn’t even presented to you? Quite a sinking feeling, isn’t it? You might have even felt ripped off. Don’t let that happen to your prospects or customers.

Sadly, I see this happening quite often, though. Sometimes it’s a result of poor salesmanship; other times it’s part of a plan or the way a company’s sales organization is structured. For example, take the sales rep with a single-minded desire to make a pitch to sell a specific product or service — no matter what. (It’s particularly a potential problem when salespeople are compensated for selling “x” number of a certain item as part of a contest or quota.)

A Personal Example

Here’s a personal example. On a ski trip to Utah, we decided to splurge and spend a day at a premium ski resort. Upon pulling up to the drop-off area, a smiling college-age attendant ran over, greeted us and helped pull the skis off the roof rack. He gave us a quick rundown on where everything was, and even directed me to park in a close-by, normally restricted spot.

When I returned, he even helped schlepp our gear down to the locker area. Wow, what service! He walked us directly to the window to rent storage baskets for shoes and other stuff. We thanked him, and I slipped him a nice tip for his help. He was reluctant in taking it, saying it was just part of his job. I insisted.

After we had rented two baskets to store all our paraphernalia and sat down to pull our boots on, I realized something: No wonder it was part of his job. I paid about sixteen bucks to rent two baskets at the window when I could have instead plugged $3,00 into one regular self-service locker. Imagine my feeling at this point. Sure, the pricey baskets had in-and-out privileges, where the locker would cost you every time it was opened, but we wouldn’t need anything until we left for the day.

The point is that we weren’t offered the best choice for our needs. To put the icing on what had been a fine job up to a point, the attendant should have simply asked a few questions:

“Will you need to come back and get anything during the day?”

“How often?”

He then could have made the appropriate recommendation, explaining the options and benefits of each. Then I could have made my own choice and felt good about it.

What should we all do to ensure our customers feel good about the suggestions we offer?

Help Customers Make Good Decisions

1. Question before recommending

Giving a presentation without questioning is simply selling what you want to sell. It’s pitching. And, just as in baseball, where there’s a pitch, there’s a catch — or at least customers normally feel as if there’s one.

2. Give the best recommendation, no matter what

You’re the expert. If customers later feel you wronged them, they’ll believe that you’re incompetent, dishonest or both — even if misleading them wasn’t your intention. A bonus of making the best suggestions is that customers may say, “Here’s someone who could have made a larger sale but instead offered me a better solution, saved me money and his company actually made less on the transaction. What a guy.” Of course, this customer will be worth much more to you in the long run.

3. Present alternatives

After giving what you feel is the best solution to their needs, present a couple of other options. This way you accomplish everything just mentioned, plus now you have the opportunity of still getting a larger sale. Think about it: Some people might opt for the larger option, just to be safe. Yet others, especially the control freaks, will have the satisfaction of knowing that they made the decision on their own.

Professional selling means that customers feel good about their decisions — good enough to keep buying from you and recommending you to their friends.