Recover Your Cancellations

Let me start this posting with a powerful statement: “A well-defined cancel/save procedure can recover 25 to 30% of rescinded contracts.”

In one of my last columns I wrote that rescission is a malfunction of the sales process. A canceled sale usually means something has been left unsaid, or un-clarified. As an example, at the close the salesperson assures the homeowners that if they have any reason to change their minds, all they have to do is “call the office”. In effect, they’re inviting rescission. Instead, why not ask those customers if there’s any possibility that they might not want to honor the contract, and if so to state that concern so it is dealt with then.

Let’s say someone calls your office to say: “We want to cancel our contract.” The best response? No problem. Explain that you will turn the matter over to the appropriate manager, who will return the paperwork. When is the best time to do that? If homeowners want the paperwork mailed, explain that deposit checks and financing documents need to be returned in person and require the receipt to be acknowledged by those who signed the contract.

Whoever returns the documents (manager of salesperson) needs to find out the real reason for the cancellation. Usually that reason has to do with value. They believe they’re paying too much (don’t perceive the value).  Possibly there is/was interference by a third party. At that point, there are several ways to recover the sale.  For instance, your price was $12,000 and another company came behind at $11,000. Sell the difference in price as a difference in quality or services which will be rendered. Frequently, owners misunderstood the salesperson or information was overlooked.  Often it is a weak or incomplete presentation – made by the original salesperson. If the owners believe they can’t afford $12,000, reevaluate their project and offer a downsized proposal. Or utilize the “total offer concept”© which breaks down the products and services offered piece by piece.  However you do it, having a cancel/save procedure in place can reduce your rescissions by 25 to 30%.

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