Want A Good Sales Close? Try An Apology

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Sorry on white paperFirst, I want you to understand the philosophy of this concept. When you do not close 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.

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 have not truly arrived. You should feel a sense of remorse, not only for yourself, but also for the potential client.

So actually, you should apologise for your poor sales skills. However, do so in the following manner, and you will turn many of those sales around at the last minute!

Please Forgive Me For Being Such An Inept Sales Person
What follows, as always, is but a generic example of the idea and not a script.

“I’m sorry. But like I said, I’m have to say no. It looks great, but I just cannot hanlde it right now.”

Sales Person
“No Steve. I am the one who is sorry. I really apologise to you.”

“Why? 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. Like I said it is a great system, it’s just money right now…”

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. I mean can you see that?”

“Oh yeah, I can see it will save me a lot of money.”

Sales Person
“Well, then I must not have been capable of making it clear of how easily affordable it is. Was I able to help you understand that it will pay for itself in a short time or did I fail you there?”

“No. I got that. You did your job…”

Accept the 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 where you DID came up short in your sales interaction.” As an example…

Sales Person
“I apologise that I am not a good enough sales person to show you exactly how scheduling software will save you thousands of pounds on your warehouse costs.”

“Well, that’s ok. Maybe we just do not have that much waste in our operation…”


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

Sales Person
“You know, I think you are so right, Sarah. That IS what I missed. Give me another minute; let me show you exactly how our system helps reduce your present costs.”

You will not save every sale, but you’ll close a few that you thought were lost!

Happy Selling!


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Originally published: 13 June, 2012