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Oops! Bad reviews – How to close deals?

Type ‘business reviewing sites’ on Google’s search and it will give you many results such as G2 Crowd, SiteJabber, Capterra, Yelp, HundredX, Manta, Zomato, TripAdvisor.

Oh, there are seriously too many reviewing sites for anything and everything on the internet. Besides these sites, how can we forget the popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, where hundreds of customers post their positive and negative feedback.

The smart buyers prefer going through these reviews before making a purchase.

72% of customers won’t act until they read reviews

There is no doubt that in today’s modern business world, a review can make or break a sales deal. If the reviews are good, you won’t face much difficulty in closing a deal. But God forbid if the reviews are bad, then you might be in a little trouble.

Yes, bad reviews will increase the difficulty level, but that doesn’t mean you cannot sell a product.

Many companies receive negative reviews for their products, but they don’t quit selling. They acknowledge it. Below is an example of how JetBlue responded to the review of an unhappy customer.

 Bad reviews

So, don’t get disappointed when you hear something like, “I researched your product and read some negative reviews about it”.

Tackle this objection of a potential prospect smartly. It is undoubtedly possible to gain your potential buyer’s trust and close deals even if you have negative reviews.

Before we get to that, let’s look at some do’s and don’t that will help you in tackling this sales objection regarding bad reviews.

Do’s and don’ts that needs your attention

Here are a few things you must do or avoid when a potential buyer shares the bad reviews they’ve heard or read about your product.

Find the source

Well, here you need to put in a little effort and find the source of the negative reviews.

Was it a reviewing site, social networking platform, or a product comparison blog where the prospect read something negative about you?

Or did someone from their contacts gave a negative feedback about your product?

When you have the source, you’ll be able to create a plan of action to deal with those bad reviews.

For instance, if it’s some fake review on a social media platform, then you can address it. If it’s a genuine review with serious concern on a reviewing site, then you can apologize and work on the glitches.

Address the bad reviews

Most of the businesses ignore the bad reviews and later suffer when that negative feedback obstructs their path to deal closure.

So, it is pivotal to keep a tab on all the negative reviews and address them in real-time. If it isn’t your fault then defend your product with full confidence.

If there are some flaws in your product, then improve and inform the customer about the tweaks you’ve done to improve the customer experience.

Do not get discouraged

Most sales reps go blank and fail to take the communication ahead when potential prospects speak about the bad reviews. Many get discouraged and lose enthusiasm when they hear this objection continuously.

Well, sales is a game where you must remain self-motivated if you want to hit those monthly or quarterly targets.

As a sales rep, you should believe in the product you are selling and present it as a strong solution to your prospects. You must divert their attention from the negative reviews to your product’s strengths.

Do not lose your cool

Few of the sales reps get too defensive when they hear something negative about the product they’re selling. Being too impulsive can affect sales.

So, stay calm and think before you react. Or maybe don’t react at that moment. Take some time to find out the truth and then return with a strong justification to gain their confidence.

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Close deals successfully despite the bad reviews

Bad reviews are poisonous to your sales. However, poison does have an antidote. So find that antidote for your product’s bad reviews. Be honest while defending or presenting an explanation for the bad reviews.

Here are three antidotes for bad reviews objection.

1. The reviews were fake

Some customers have unrealistic expectations. If they aren’t fulfilled, these customers write negative reviews to ruin the image of your product.

Sadly, potential buyers trust these reviews and form their own opinion of your product/services. This is why I had asked you to address each negative review that you come across about your product.

The sad part is some of the companies do pay people to write fake reviews. Besides, there are even chances that your competitors might as well write something negative about your product or pay someone to do so.

So, you need to make your prospects aware of these fake reviews.

The other day I came across a Ted talk video “The future of lying” by Jeff Hancock where he spoke about fake reviews.

Quoting Jeff Hancock,

“Thousands of people in China are paid small amounts of money to produce content. It could be reviews. It could be propaganda. The government hires these people, companies hire them, all over the place. In North America, we call this Astroturfing, and it is very common now. There’s a lot of concerns about it. We see this especially with product reviews, book reviews, everything from hotels to whether that toaster is a good toaster or not.”

Well, this video speaks volumes about fake reviews. So yes, there are fake reviews that prospect mustn’t trust.

2. The reviews were partially true

Yes, there might be some truth in the bad review that the unsatisfied customer has posted.

But make sure you have an explanation to that as some clients tend to tweak the story and present a bad picture of the company.

How you handle the bad reviews will decide the fate of your deal. It is necessary to present your shortcomings in the right way.

Be explicit and provide the context while discussing the bad reviews with your prospects.

For instance, your product didn’t have certain extra features. However, the client’s problem could be resolved without those additional features as well.

But just because someone in their network purchased a similar product having that feature, they expected you to offer the same.

Besides, there are chances that the person who posted the bad review might belong to a different industry that you aren’t targeting. If you have served someone from the prospect’s industry, then give them their example.

Show the positive reviews you’ve received from someone with a business background similar to your prospects.

Present the case studies of such customers and explain how your product helped them even without the extra features mentioned in the review.

3. The review was true but outdated

No one is perfect from day one. You experiment, take feedback and try to fill the gaps. This is how you grow.

There might be some old reviews that your prospect might have considered. So, acquaint them with your improvements to make them realize those reviews are now obsolete.

Well, this is even a chance to impress the prospect. Show them that you value your customer’s needs and work on their feedback.

To provide cent percent satisfaction, you’ve worked hard and strengthened your product by adding the missing pieces.

I’ve been working for a product called Salesmate CRM for the last three years. I’ve seen this product grow tremendously. We’ve tweaked and added a lot of features after listening to our customers’ requirements and feedback.

For instance, some clients wanted a CRM that had a built-in virtual phone system, so we gradually added it.

The product takes time to become the best, and reviews help in it. Even the customers of big brands like Nike and Adidas have concerns. These brands listen to their customer feedbacks and improve their product.

You need to explain this to your prospects, that there were some reviews regarding a few missing features, but you’ve worked upon it.

Wrapping up

Closing sales deals is without a doubt a challenging task but not an impossible one.

It is possible to close deals even if you have bad reviews. You just need to have a positive mindset and approach these bad reviews with confidence. What you say and how you provide justification matters here.

Besides handling the bad reviews smartly, you even need the right tool to close the deal successfully. Salesmate CRM is one such software that has helped sales teams of different sizes in achieving their sales targets with ease.

Through its free trial, you can explore the different features and see how it can help in faster deal closure.


An avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research about interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. Calm, carefree and creative are the words that describes her the best.

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