Try This Last Effort When You Have Lost The Sale And You Are Walking Out Of The Door

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Win or LoseYou have gone through the entire sales presentation. You have closed a dozen times. You faced and, you thought, you overcame, what seems like a thousand objections; and still the prospect will not buy.

It’s all over and it’s time to leave. Try this last ditch effort. Hey, you have nothing to lose!

No scripts or magic words here. I want you first to understand the philosophy about this concept. When you have lost the sale, the fact is that you have failed. If you believe in your heart that the prospect would be better off by owning what you sell, then if they do not buy, they have to be worse off. Does that make sense?

The prospect is going to suffer, pay more, lose more, save less, or in some way, pay the price for not buying your product or service and it is YOUR fault. You failed to help the prospect see and understand that they truly need what you have. When you do not close the sale, if your only concern is that you lost a commission, you are not yet a true professional. You should feel that you let the prospect down.

So apologise for your ineptness. Apologise that you were not able to help him, her or the organisation.

“I’m sorry. But like I said, I am not going to go ahead with this. It looks great, but I just cannot swing it right now.”

Sales Person
“No Steve. I am sorry. I really apologise to you. I’m sorry. ”

“You have nothing to be sorry about.”

Sales Person
“Oh yes I do. Apparently, I was not able to show you how much you really need our XJ200.”

“No. I can see that I need it…”

Sales Person
“Well, then I was not a good enough sales person to help you see that it will save you thousands of pounds every year.”

“No, you did that. Like I said, it really looks good…”

Sales Person
“Well, then I must not have been capable of making it clear of how easily affordable it is and that it will pay for itself in a short time.”

“I can understand that…”

Accept Apology or Explain
As you can see, with this approach the prospect has to either argue with your apology, in which case he or she eliminates all the objections. Or the prospect can accept your apology, in which case they tell you exactly what the problem is that is holding them back.

Sales Person
“I apologise that I am not a good enough sales person to show you exactly how our help desk software will save you thousands of pounds every month.”

“Well, that’s ok. I think other companies have more problems at their helpdesk than we do…”


Once you found where you came up short in your sales interaction, you can try to go back and fix it.

Sales Person
“You are so right, Sarah. That is what I think I missed. Give me another minute; let me show you how the help desk features work…”

Hey, it won’t save every deal. But you are sure to close a few that you thought were lost!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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Originally published: 24 February, 2012