When Your Customer Won’t Make a Decision

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Woman with a question mark on headCustomers often use delaying tactics and techniques for many reasons. In fact Doug Hall, in his book “Jump Start Your Marketing Brain” cites research studies that have identified over 80 reasons why customers delay making a decision.

Interestingly, those delays can be amalgamated into five key reasons. Now, it’s not about forcing customers to make decisions (both you and they may regret that later). But if you identify the main reason, it may be that you can take action to encourage prospects to make the right decision today.

Here are the reasons Hall came up with:

  • Too busy to devote time evaluating the options
  • Too much pressure during the buying process
  • Fear of making a bad or wrong decision
  • Lack of information
  • Pricing concerns

Firstly, Too busy to devote time to evaluating options. People make time for what is important, so concentrate on the benefits they’ll get from making the decision now. Maybe they’ll lose money if they don’t choose today, or they’ll lose out on some other benefit that may come their way.

Next, it’s too much pressure during the buying process. You need to make the process easier and more pleasurable. Make the whole process more user friendly. Eliminate as many steps as possible, so the customer has an easy time saying yes. Maybe there’s a way you can reduce the steps or offer help through the process. Most prospects will appreciate this help and accept your recommendations.

Fear of making a bad or wrong decision. Demonstrate your credibility. Show them testimonials from customers who have been in the same position as they are. Introduce them to your customer care department. Provide warranties and guarantees that will make the prospect feel more secure. A free trial may alleviate worries and concerns.

Lack of Information. Provide comparisons of the products in your line, and how your products compare to the competition. Encourage the customer to describe their wants and needs early in the process, so that you can explain how you solve their problems. Be aware that some people will want more information than you might have expected in order for them to feel secure.

Pricing concerns. Many prospects want to make sure they are getting the best deal possible, and will delay if they feel they could get a better deal elsewhere. If you do your homework, as above, you will be able to assist them in determining the best pricing structure and value proposition in the market place and come to the right decision. If they are concerned about possible pricing drops, offer a 30 or 60-day pricing guarantee, where if the price drops within that time, they get the benefit of a credit or price adjustment.

Be aware of these five main reasons why customers won’t make a decision, and use your skills to reduce or eliminate them. You will give your customer the confidence to make the decision sooner rather than later, or not at all.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling

MTD Sales Training | Sales Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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Originally published: 21 January, 2011