Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Helping Customers Make Decisions

The folks we want to discuss today are the ones who can't seem to make a buying decision. A professional sales person can and should assist these customers in making a decision...but should never put pressure on them to decide a certain way.

Naturally, it's tempting to steer the prospect toward deciding in favor of your product or service. But it'll backfire every time, usually in the form of buyer's remorse. Forget about repeat business then!

To ethically and professionally help a prospect make a decision, simply ask them the following question. "Mr. Prospect,  how do you like to make decisions on products or services such as we are discussing"?

And then stop talking! The dead air may almost kill you; but what's happening is that the prospect is thinking about your question and formulating an answer. If you wait patiently for the answer, the prospect will tell you how he or she plans to decide.

All you need to do from that point is follow the plan and offer to be helpful. For example, suppose the prospect says, "I'll want to circulate your proposal to a few others and get their input before making a decision."

Being helpful, you should then offer to do more than was requested. "Mr. Prospect, if you would give me the names of those folks, I will save you time by making personalized copies for each of them and sending them overnight delivery before I leave the office this afternoon."

Or you could say, "Mr. Prospect, you and I have had several discussions and you've had some very insightful questions. We can reasonably expect those others will also have questions. Why don't we go ahead and schedule a conference call now with you and your group so that I can answer all their questions? Wouldn't you agree they will want some answers before giving you their best advice"?

What you are trying to do is manage the decision making process. You are not trying to force a specific decision, but instead are trying to make progress toward a final decision. And the key to moving forward is to continually offer to be helpful. 

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