How Your Buyers Make Their Decisions – Part 5

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

For Part One, Motivation Directions

For Part Two, Frames of Reference

For Part Three, Matching and Mismatching

For Part Four, Convincer Strategies

Hard descision to choose wayOur final part of this series of how buyers make decisions looks at what people see as necessary and what they see as possible. It’s an interesting strategy people use to ensure they keep what they they already have or risk going for things they could have in the future.

First, a recap:

People’s decision-making criteria will always give away a lot of information, as they help you understand their beliefs, values and behaviours.
Buyers make decisions based on a series of criteria that makes sense to them. So if you can identify their view, you can determine how best to help them buy your solutions.

Many people actually limit their thoughts by the words they use to represent those thoughts. When we speak, we choose words that depict the thoughts we are choosing to have. So it can be fascinating to almost read their thoughts through a diagnosis of what we are hearing them say.
Take these statements as a case in point:
“We must keep to our current supplier”
“I have to stick to my budget for this quarter”
“We can’t go forward without discussions with more clients”
“I really ought to get a lower price from you”
All these statements are borne from a feeling of necessity. That is, nothing can be done without this specific event taking place. There is a feeling of necessity because it gives the buyer a sense of control or identifies a step they feel will give them confidence in the decision-making process.
In these situations, you can recognise the effect it might have if they keep to these limiting factors. And it does limit their thinking, simply because they have restricted their decision-making through the words they have uttered. It stops them from thinking of other possibilities, and so restricts the opportunities to go in a different direction.
As the sales person, you can question these so called ‘necessary’ clauses by asking things like:
“What would happen if you looked at another supplier whop might help you be more productive?”
“If there was a way of remaining within budget and still getting the rewards, would that be of interest to you?”
“How many clients do you need to convince before you make the decision to go forward?”
“What would happen if you knew you were getting great value from me at the current price?”
What these questions do is suggest to the buyer that there might be other options available to them. It opens up the POSSIBILITIES of alternative directions in the future. No longer are the thoughts they have limiting their future opportunities. They can see different ways forward and you can highlight the benefits of seeing the same situations in an alternative light.
So the next time that your prospect makes a statement out of NECESSITY, think about the opportunities they would open up for themselves if they thought about the POSSIBILITIES instead.
Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 25 September, 2013

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