Your response to unhappy clients can make or break a deal. Use the C.U.R.E. technique to save your business relationship—and the sale.
Every salesperson has faced it. You’re working on a prospect, and the process seems to be moving along. Out of the blue, you get a call: Your client wants to cancel.
Your response to unhappy clients can make or break a deal. If you don’t know how to handle buyer’s remorse or canceled contracts, it will eventually threaten your entire sales career.
We developed the C.U.R.E. technique after learning from the experiences of hundreds of sales professionals. The result? A straightforward method to rescue your professional relationships and salvage deals. There are four steps:
C – Calm them down
U – Understand the problem
R – Remind them of their initial pain
E – Explore the options together
These steps are followed in order, but not every discussion requires all four steps! You may discover the cure for your client at any point in the process.
Before you begin, be sure you can focus 100% on your client. When a client calls and says they want to cancel, salespeople go into panic mode. If you’re frantically multitasking, scrambling for your notes, and trying to pull up the client in your CRM while your client is talking, it’s impossible to truly listen!
Instead (if you must), put your client on hold briefly, or reschedule for a time when you can be prepared and give your client your undivided attention.
Calm Them Down
The first step of the C.U.R.E. technique is to calm your client down. This does NOT mean you should actually tell them to “calm down!” Don’t jump into action trying to fix the problem right away, either. Take a deep breath, and listen.
Apologize for what’s wrong, and show your client that you’re on their side. Most often, a client wants to cancel because they’re feeling unloved. They’re not getting what they expected, or things aren’t working like they used to. They need the opportunity to share their side of the story.
Your client might be heated. That’s OK. They’re frustrated and need to feel heard. Stay calm, and let them talk through why they’re canceling.
Understand the Problem
After your client has told you their problem, be sure to ask: What else is happening? Is there anything more going on? Is that everything? It’s amazing what a simple “Tell me more” can bring out. This approach will often unmask the real issue at hand!
When you feel you’ve heard all the issues, repeat what your client told you.
Your client now feels like they’ve truly been heard. You’ve eased the tension by remaining calm and showing you’re on their side. After you summarize their problem, clients often realize that it’s not as bad as they felt it was—and they’ll even come up with solutions of their own.
Remind Them of Their (Initial) Pain
Your client started working with you for a reason. Your product or service met a need or solved a problem.
If you performed a full needs analysis when you initially brought on your client, you know what their pain points were. Remind them of their initial pain, and resell them on how to solve it. You may find out that your client’s needs were misunderstood or have changed over time, and they have new pain that needs to be addressed.
To remind them why they started working with you in the first place, you might ask your client something like this: “When you and I initially spoke, you said you had challenges with XYZ—does that still apply? Or has your situation changed?”
Explore the Options Together
The solution often presents itself in one of the first three steps of the C.U.R.E. process. If you haven’t already discovered a solution, it’s time to explore alternative options that will solve the problem as you now understand it.
Empathize with your client, and share ways similar issues have been resolved with other clients. Working together, you can often come to an agreement on how to keep their business.
Unfortunately, sometimes there’s not an option that works. Even if they still end up canceling, your client will remember how you handled this situation! By being professional, calm, and truly listening to your client’s problems, you’ve preserved a business relationship—and you can pick it back up in the future if circumstances change.
C.U.R.E. Your Client
Sometimes it’s a serious problem. Sometimes it’s just cold feet. When a client threatens to walk away from a deal, do you know how to overcome their objections and ease their fear?
The C.U.R.E. technique works! And, it’s only the beginning. Skillway has developed dozens of exclusive methods for sales professionals—part of an entire library of topics. From sales techniques to time management strategies, these topics bring your efficiency, enthusiasm, and expertise to the next level.
Your Skillway sales coach will help you build an arsenal of skills to confront obstacles like canceled contracts or unhappy clients. With a custom-designed learning plan and one-on-one sales coaching, you’ll develop the skills to bring your business to new heights.
Are you ready to CRUSH your sales goals and love what you do? Schedule a free jump-start coaching session! Call 615-392-5655 or use our contact form.