Disclaimer: You can’t always turn a reluctant customer into a buyer.  There are times your product simply won’t be right for everyone.

You could use these popular techniques:

  • Demonstrate your product
  • Refer to expert testimonials
  • Let the shopper experience the product’s best/unique features

But I think it’s more important to understand the bigger picture, and take an organic approach to turning the corner and closing the sale with a reluctant buyer.

It all starts with your self-image

Do you see yourself as a person trying to sell something to someone, or as a professional trying to solve your customer’s problem? Just as a doctor works to diagnose a patient’s problem, and prescribe the best treatment; as a small business owner, you should find the best product to address the needs of your customer or client.

Understanding and practicing this on a personal level can prevent situations where you find yourself selling to someone who doesn’t want to buy. You won’t approach customers as a sales statistic or with an attitude that says you’re embarrassed to be a salesperson, but as a professional who is there to help. We should all be happy and proud to help people.

For the next step, control the context

Now that you have the right attitude, you may realize that sometimes the customer sees things differently. See if you recognize this situation:

You greet a customer and offer to help. “I don’t want to hear your spiel, just give me your best price!” replies the demanding customer. You think, “uh-oh.”

The customer has imposed his agenda and taken control of the encounter. He has pushed you into a room that only has one door out and he’s standing guard.

Now here’s an important question for you

Will you quietly acquiesce, give a price, and slink away?

I suggest that you politely reassert your “context” into your relationship with the potential buyer, and say that’s not the way you work. Explain that you’re there to help customers solve their problems and get the products that are best for their specific needs.

“If you can spare five to 10 minutes, I can help you out. If not, I can find another salesperson to help you,” you might say in closing.

As I admitted in my disclaimer, you won’t always transform a reluctant buyer

However, this technique works quite often and it goes a long way toward building a relationship that results in repeat business. Even when it doesn’t close a sale, you maintain your pride and your professionalism. There’s great value in that.

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.