It’s one of the biggest frustrations in a salesperson’s experience. You’ve done your research on the buyer and their company…you have uncovered all the possible objections the prospect has in mind…you’ve presented the solutions for their concerns…you’ve even discussed a reduction in price for increased orders.
It’s obvious the prospect is going to say ‘yes’. Isn’t it? There’s no alternative. Is there? The solution is right in front of their eyes. Isn’t it?
They come out with the age-old deflater, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
Yes, this expression can confuse, frustrate and anger you all at the same time. What on earth is there to think about? You’ve gone though all the benefits. You’ve highlighted the appropriate product features. Are they just stupid, or what?
Well, you might not understand their reasons for procrastinating or not making decisions, but to the prospect, it’s very real. They may not be able to justify in words exactly why they are indecisive at that moment, but there are very real reasons why their subconscious reaction is one of fear and anxiety.
What can you do to kill off this indecision in the prospect’s mind to give yourself the best possible chance to get some progress? Here are some suggestions:
1) Don’t present solutions until you are absolutely clear on needs. Too many salespeople talk about solutions much too early in the process. This creates dissonance in the prospect’s mind, as they are unsure during the presentation how the solution you are providing will help their situation. It hasn’t been covered well enough yet.
2) Get the prospect to envisage the better future with your solution. This ‘better future’ might include higher profits, better productivity, lower wastage, increased turnover, lower staff loss or something similar. When the prospect is convinced that they need that better future, it creates awareness in their minds of the changes that have to be made to achieve it.
3) Make the changes they have to go through as painless as possible. So many prospects see change and associate it with pain. They are indecisive because the ‘pain’ they have to go through to get your stuff outweighs the benefits they will receive from going through it. If they are going to have to go through change in some way, ensure you explain how easy it’s going to be to achieve it.
4) Highlight the current reality and how it really needs to change…and quickly. The main reason for procrastination and indecision is because the buyer doesn’t associate enough pain to not changing the status quo. They are content or even happy with what’s happening and it won’t be worth the effort to make the change. If you help them see the result of NOT changing now, you open up the opportunity for the change to take place sooner rather than later.
5) Show proof that your solution has helped other prospects just like them to improve their business outlook. Imagine seeing a short video of another company in your industry who has benefitted by using the solution that’s being presented to you. You see how it has helped them overcome difficulties or improved their output. If you had the same solution, you would see the same results. Wow, won’t that make you feel that making the decision will be valuable to you?
These five ideas will help you accentuate the benefits of your prospect making the decision now, rather than having to put it on the back burner. Try highlighting what they will see as a result of making that decision, and you’re very likely to kill off any indecision anxiety for good.
MTD Sales Training
(Image by D Dpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
One of the most difficult conversations you’ll probably have is the one where the prospect can’t make their mind up, is indecisive or doesn’t know how to make a commitment.
Mainly, it’s down to fear of failure, or of making a mistake that will come back and haunt them later.
It’s a natural reaction, because who in their right mind wants to fail or be seen as a failure? Their indecisiveness is a logical reaction to a situation that is causing them some measure of pain. In many situations, whatever decision they make may have difficulties associated with it; if they say yes, it will cost them a lot of money…if they say no, it may cost them a lot of pain. What to do?
This dilemma is one that will not be sorted if you just sit there in silence. Nor will it resolve itself if you just ask patronising questions like ‘Have I explained everything?’ or ‘Shall we go over the offer again?’
No, the best way to deal with this is to actually raise the painful issues yourself. Risky? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.
Firstly, identify what might be the most difficult challenge in the sales process is going to be. Is it a price issue? How about delivery? Is it purely to changes that the prospect will have to go through in order to decide on your solution?
Whatever it is, or potentially might be, that’s stopping them from making a decision to move forward, bring it up yourself.
Put yourself in the shoes of the prospect identify what it is that is holding them back and then bring it up in the conversation. If there’s a problem that the prospect isn’t bringing up for a variety of reasons (e.g. they don’t know how to express the fear, they have a concern of looking cheap in your eyes if they ask for discounts, they haven’t the confidence to make a decision, etc) then you should have the courage to bring it out into the open so that you and they can make progress. You can use ideas similar to these:
“To be honest with you, I’m concerned about the price here. I’m unsure whether it’s right for you. What do you think?”
“I know we’ve spoken about how the programme will work, but I’m not sure it will fit into your schedules as things stand. Do you share the same thoughts?”
” Here’s something I’m not sure about. We’re trying to make sure this is the right plan for you and your family, and I’m not sure we’ve hit the right note here. Do you agree?”
” Although the solution looks good, I think there’s a challenge on how we are going to roll this out to the other decision makers. Do you share that concern too?”
By raising the possible stumbling block yourself, you get it out in the open and the ‘elephant in the room’ is uncovered. Whatever the challenges, by bringing them up yourself, you get the prospect feeling that this weight has been lifted and you can now start addressing the issues in front of you.
The alternative is that the prospect continues to hide the real reasons for holding back and you never actually get to the hub of the matter. They may just say they need time to think it over, then when you follow up with phone calls and emails, things go strangely quiet from their end.
I’m sure you’d much rather understand and clarify the real issues in the prospect’s mind so that you can address them immediately, rather than walking on egg shells trying to see if the solution could be shoe-horned into the existing situation.
By bringing up the potent ion blockage ourselves, we get a much better sense of where we are with the prospect, and can take the initiative in progressing the sale to its natural conclusion.
MTD Sales Training
(Image by D Dpavumba at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)