No matter how great your products and services are and how well you think you handled a sales call, not everyone will buy from you. However, there are things you can do to improve your chances of closing a sale and landing the prospect as a customer. Firstly, it’s important to understand how people buy in the first place.
What motivates buyers to buy
Buyers are motivated to buy something for only two reasons. To avoid pain or gain a reward. In the business environment, symptoms that a prospect is experiencing pain manifests itself in the way of problems. Gaining a reward means to realize an opportunity. These are commonly known as buyer needs.
A buyer has to have a need. Without a need there is no reason for them to buy anything from anyone.
A need alone won’t make them buy until they realize that if they do nothing, a problem will get worse or they won’t gain the rewards from realizing an opportunity. It is the impact or consequence of not doing something about a problem or opportunity that really motivates a buyer to take action.
After a buyer identifies that they have a need and they understand the impact or consequences of not taking action, they then have a target goal in their mind. Sounds relatively simple. A client has a need, they understand what will happen if they don’t take action (the problem gets worse or the opportunity disappears) and they have a target goal in mind not to let that happen and find a supplier to satisfy that need.
Except – they still don’t buy from you!
So why don’t prospects buy from you?
1. They don’t trust you
Before you can sell anything to anyone, there needs to be an element of trust. Rapport is the first step to building trust. Establishing rapport is essential to getting to the next step with a prospect who is in the buying cycle. If the prospect is not comfortable with you, it’s difficult for you to move them to the next stage in the Bi-Sell-Cycle™.
2. They might already have a provider
They might already deal with a provider that has serviced their needs in the past and they are happy with their products or services. From their perspective, better the devil you know than the one you don’t. It means they already are in rapport and trust their current provider. If this is the case it’s much more difficult to convert them into a new client unless you can demonstrate exceptional value and a reason to change provider.
3. You haven’t got credibility
A buyer needs to feel comfortable that you can deliver on your promises. Here is where testimonials are so valuable along with developing a strong value proposition or unique selling point. You need to provide qualitative or quantitative evidence that you achieved results for other clients so that they are comfortable you will be able to do the same for them.
4. You haven’t uncovered their real needs
Even if you get all the other elements right, you still have to ensure that you have uncovered their real needs. A client might tell you what they want (their target goal) but in actuality, what they think they want is not what will really take away their problem or help them realize an opportunity. You still have to confirm what their real needs are and not just take their word for it.
You must confirm their perceived need is their actual need before selling your solution. Let’s imagine a buyer tells you what their needs are and you tailor a solution to what they tell you they wanted, except – it didn’t take away their problem or help them realize an opportunity. Their perception will be you were the wrong person for the job because you didn’t deliver on your promises. Ummm, you weren’t the wrong person for the job, you just provided them a solution based on what they told you without probing deeper into possible hidden needs.
5. They don’t see value in what you have to offer.
Buyers don’t always buy on price. They buy on value. If they don’t see the value in what you are offering, there is no tension to buy neither is there any motivation to buy from you. In order to create value, it goes back to the impact or consequence if they allow the problem to remain or the opportunity unrealized. If the impact or consequence of not taking action is not powerful enough, then the client sits in their comfort zone and continues to shop around.
6. They are not the decision maker
It’s easy to waste time talking to the wrong person about your products and services when they are not the ultimate decision maker.
Let’s say you were home one day and you get a knock on the door. When you open the door there is a man from a roofing repair company and he says. “I was just passing and noticed there is a large hole in your roof.” You go outside and have a look and sure enough there is a hole in your roof. The roofing repair man then says “there is a storm heading this way tonight. If you don’t repair the hole today you are likely to incur flood damage in your house as a result of the storm.”
If that’s a home-owner, they would probably not go out to the market, get three quotes and find the best roofing Repair Company to repair their roof because they wouldn’t have time. The storm was coming that night. Chances are they would say to the man at the door, can you repair this for me now! Let’s say the person who answered the door wasn’t the home-owner and they were renting the property. They would not be in a position to employ the roofing repair contractor themselves, they would have to refer the problem to the landlord or their property manager. They are not the decision maker. This would cause delays and the outcome would be different.
Find out early in the sales call if they are the decision maker. Asking this simple questions will help…. “Apart from you, who else is involved in the decision-making process?” The reason you ask the question in this manner, is not to embarrass them if they aren’t the decision maker.
7. They need minimum quotes
If you are dealing with larger organizations they often have purchasing policies they need to comply with. Example, for purchases over a certain dollar amount, they might require three quotes. If this is the case, chances are you were never in the running in the first place.
On a final note
To get prospects to buy from you, build rapport, establish credibility, ask effective questions and follow a sales process. If you do this you will close more sales and grow your business.
In A Nutshell
To get people to buy from you, you need to:
- Establish trust through the art of building rapport
- Establish confidence with a powerful value proposition and build credibility through testimonials
- Ensure they are the decision maker
- Understand where the buyer is on the buying cycle and match them where they are
- Uncover hidden needs not just what the buyer tells you upfront
- Create tension by exploring the impact or consequences if they don’t take action
- Understand and agree on what their target goals are
- Match your products and services to their target goals by tailoring your solution accordingly
- Sell on value not price