Do your clients ever suffer from buyer’s remorse?
For many expert professional services – especially legal and accounting – purchase is not optional: it’s mandatory, driven by compliance requirements, or as an essential component of project delivery.
Worse still, a fair slice of consumption is a true ‘grudge spend’, mandated by lenders, regulators, and opponents.
Relatively few legal services fit the ‘nice to have’ or ‘optional extras’ categories.
Whatever category of professional service you’re providing to a client, be aware of the phenomenon of ‘buyer’s remorse’ and its potential to affect your relationship.
Client behaviours symptomatic of buyer’s remorse include:
- laboured communications
- tardy return of calls
- slow turnaround on requests for information
- expressed doubts about necessity for specific service elements
- queries about your competence or experience.
- slow payment of your interim invoices.
Avoiding buyer’s remorse in your clients
If you observe symptoms of buyer’s remorse in your client, take immediate action. (Better still, anticipate and proactively engage the issue and avoid the problem, rather than waiting to overcome it.)
Here are some techniques to help you deal with signs of buyer’s remorse:
Reinforce benefits you will deliver
Imbue your advice and interactions with specific benefits statements – ‘the great advantage of this approach is that you will save a substantial amount on each year’s insurance premium’.
Explain the cost, risk, or threat of the issue you’re working on
Quantify, if possible – ‘my estimate is that, left unresolved, this problem will cost you upwards of $100,000 over the next three years’.
Reassure your clients that s/he is taking a sound course
Share relevant anecdotes and ‘war stories’ which will resonate – ‘last time I worked through this situation with a client, we settled on the same course after a very thorough evaluation of the alternatives – pleasingly, we got almost exactly the outcomes we favoured’.
Frame your recommendations in terms of your client’s interests
When you make or recommend an approach, express it in way which will resonate with your client and settle jitters – ‘if I was in your position, here’s what I’d do and why…’ or ‘what I recommend is … and this is why it’s strongly in your interests …’.
In a nutshell, buyer’s remorse in clients is best avoided by proactively reassuring and persuading your client that s/he’s made the right decision in enlisting your support.
If you want to combat any potential buyers remorse in your clients please get in touch.
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