Fail to make the sale? You probably failed to establish buyer confidence!

Fail to make the sale? You probably failed to establish buyer confidence!

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The prospect said NO! You’re sure he should have bought.

As you head back to the car, licking your wounds, you try to justify or figure out why the buyer turned you down. Very often the sale is not made because you failed to establish enough buyer confidence to secure an order.

Once you’ve answered the fundamental questions…Was I enthusiastic, friendly, and professional looking? You may have to probe a bit deeper for the true answers. Even though the truth hurts, the realization of what you failed to do to gain buyer confidence is a big step in making the sale next time.

If you’re willing to be objective about yourself and your abilities, ask yourself the following 15 revealing questions…

  1. Was I on time?… Did I show up 5 minutes (good) early or 5 minutes late (real bad)?
  2. Was I prepared?… Did I walk into my appointment with everything I needed to make the sale?
  3. Was I organized?… Did I have everything at my fingertips or was I fumbling?
  4. Could I answer all product questions?… Do I really have command of my product, or am I constantly “having to get back to you on that one”?
  5. Did I make excuses or blame others about anything?… The sample wasn’t shipped on time, the company didn’t send the right information, etc.
  6. Was I apologizing?… Sorry I’m late, unprepared, don’t know the answer, didn’t bring the correct information, quoted the wrong price, etc.
  7. Did the prospect probe personal issues about my company?… “If I buy,” says Mr. Jones, “how do I know you’ll be here to service me in six months?”
  8. Did the prospect ask doubting questions about my product?… What happens if it breaks down after the warranty, or, who else buys this product?
  9. Did the prospect ask doubting questions about me?… How long had I been with the company, or, how much experience I had?
  10. Did I name drop other satisfied customers effectively?… Did I fail to use the name of a satisfied customer to answer a pointed question?
  11. Did I feel as though I was on the defensive?… Was I constantly answering questions dealing in subject matter other than my product/service? Could I prove my points?
  12. Could I overcome all objections in a confident manner?… Did I find myself unable to respond confidently about price, quality, and other issues blocking the sale when asked by the prospect? Did I try to “fake it”?
  13. Did I down the competition?… Did I berate my competitor (possibly the prospect’s supplier), did I make disparaging remarks about the competition to try to make me/my product look better?
  14. Was my prospect uninvolved in the sales presentation?… Did the prospect just sit there or worse, do other things while I was talking?
  15. Was I too anxious to make the sale?… Was I too pushy? Was it obvious to the prospect there was a commission involved?

These questions are designed for you to evaluate your sales performance, and reveal your ability (or inability) to create buyer confidence from a customer who said no. I hope they are helpful.

Next week we’ll look at methods, techniques, and sales tools that will gain buyer confidence.


Toward Error Free Positive Communication, from The Sales Bible. Don’t let poor communication keep you from the sale. Go to, register if you’re a first time user and enter the words, ERROR FREE in the GitBit box.

If the prospect says “NO,” it’s most likely that
failure to establish buyer confidence is the cause.