Don’t let last-minute resistance catch you off guard. Prepare ahead of time with these three ways to overcome last-minute resistance and close a sale.
Last-minute resistance from a prospect is not a no; last-minute resistance is a response that a prospect may have when he or she suddenly feels that the sale is moving too quickly, or has thought of a potential issue – whether likely to occur or not – that he or she needs addressed before returning to an acceptable comfort level with the deal. Don’t let last-minute resistance when you are close to closing a sale catch you off guard. Prepare ahead of time with these three ways to overcome last-minute resistance.
Validating a prospect’s concerns is a go-to method to overcome last-minute resistance and win at closing a sale. When you validate the concerns that a prospect has, you are confronting the issue or issues head on. Although this can be difficult, it may help to remember that being forthright about the prospect’s concerns can help build trust. If a prospect is showing last-minute resistance to closing a sale, that trust can be invaluable for moving ahead. Use the following techniques to validate the issues that a prospect has without derailing your momentum:
Occasionally, last-minute resistance is a smokescreen that a sales prospect uses to buy time. He or she might not have any concern but the most basic: Am I making the right decision? When this is the case, the best method of proceeding is to ask your prospect questions that help him or her identify that the only reason for stalling is fear of moving forward. If your questions are centered on the ultimate gains and benefits of closing a sale, he or she will quickly return to enthusiasm about the deal.
On the other hand, be careful not to probe too deeply if the prospect begins showing further resistance to one line of questioning; you could be approaching a topic that is too sensitive for the prospect to discuss. If this is the case, you know that a deeper trust needs to be built before you and your prospect can have a meaningful conversation. Try redirecting your questions on a different line and retreating back to building value so that you can maintain the likelihood of closing a sale after the last-minute resistance is overcome.
Sometimes, sales people are too quick to jump at the first sign of last-minute resistance and may be talking themselves out of closing a sale. By making assumptions about the reasons for last-minute resistance and speaking out of turn, sales people may lose the opportunity to build value and trust with the prospect. When your sales prospect displays last-minute resistance, do not be the first to talk. Let your prospect tell you everything that you need to know about his or her concerns before you move to allay those concerns and end last-minute resistance. Once you have validated the prospect’s feelings and concerns and have arrived at a better idea of why the last-minute resistance is occurring, you can draft an appropriate response to overcome the prospect’s objection and keep the sale moving forward.
Last-minute resistance before closing a sale does not have to be the end of a deal. By being adequately prepared you can overcome last-minute resistance without moving backward in the sales cycle.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.