Our sales training clients in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary all agree – there are many successful components that add up to completing a sale. No matter the products, services or customers, common things need to occur for decision makers to say Yes. There is one ingredient that Professional Salespeople love to see in their clients – the sense of urgency to take action. It accelerates the speed of motivating buyers to purchase and greatly increases the chances of making a sale. Here’s how to get your clients to take action.
A well-perceived product, market demand, proper pricing and the professionalism and skill of the Salesperson are all required components in successful sales transactions. The failure to achieve any of these objectives threatens the likelihood of advancing a sale. Yet, as Professional Salespeople, we’ve all seen clients sit on the fence of complacency to make a decision even after having all those components present.
Ask any Salesperson and they will tell you that chasing after a maybe client eats up a great deal of time and patience, yet we all know that follow up is an important part of winning the business. Research also shows that Salespeople tend to give up far too quickly in their efforts to reach a final answer with as many eight attempts required to get a decision. Most of us would rather hear No allowing us to move onto other opportunities.
How time works against Salespeople
The longer it takes to get a final decision, the more likely the answer will be No. There will be exceptions to this rule with key decision makers not being available or when a buying committee is involved. We know this – Yes decisions have a tendency to be made quickly.
Why is that?
Experienced Salespeople will tell you that the answer is clear – the buyer had a sense of urgency to take action. The product or service offered met the needs of the client and there was a payoff in the mind of the decision maker to proceed immediately. Perceptive Salespeople can sense when this is about to happen by understanding the feelings of the buyer and developing sales intuition.
Sales intuition is one of the most useful tools for Professional Salespeople. It’s a gut feeling that gives you the ability to know when you are close to completing a sale. Empathy is a leading attribute of top-performing Salespeople. They can actually pinpoint the moment when the buyer is showing signs that will lead to a Yes decision. While it’s not always correct, it can be remarkably accurate.
The turning point
It all rests on the engagement the client has with the Salesperson. From the start of a meeting, the Salesperson is probably initiating most of the engagement by asking questions and attempting to understand the customer’s needs. When the engagement switches its direction and comes from the decision maker, we begin to see what is important in making a sale.
The true needs of the buyer are revealed in the questions they ask. Your ability to answer those questions and satisfy the demands of the client are at the heart of every sale. Your progress toward completing the sale should be easy to spot in the body language and growing comfort level of the client in interacting with you. Some clients may even trust you enough at this point to make positive comments on your product or service. This is a clear indication of their needs being met. You are on your way to Yes.
The final step
If you’ve done everything correct, the decision maker has now confirmed in their mind that you are offering something of value to them. That doesn’t mean he or she is ready to buy. It means that they are now ready to seriously consider it.
Client Complacency – the Salesperson’s Enemy!
This is where sales are won and lost. It’s also where the maybes are born. Your ability to understand the emotional state of complacency and how to fight it will make you a top-performer. Most people think that complacency is the inability to make a decision. I disagree. Complacency is a conscious decision to not make a choice. It stems from fear – what happens if I make the wrong decision? The question to ask is – what happens if you make no decision? Your best weapon to fight complacency is to create a compelling case for the decision maker to move forward.
The Sense of Urgency – Getting the client to Take Action
The sense of urgency to take action is motivated by two factors:
1. Prospect of Gain – simple to understand – what do I gain from saying Yes? Buyers who are encouraged by the prospect of gain are looking to benefit.
2. Fear of Loss – the greater motivator of the two factors. What do I miss out on by not taking action? Nobody wants to be the person who waited too long to board the plane to be home for Christmas. Ouch! Here are some great examples of the Fear of Loss:
- Black Friday and Boxing Day sales
- Door crasher specials
- Limited-time incentives
- The rare pre-owned vehicle with low mileage at the car dealership
- Media contests
- Investment deadlines for tax deductions
- The job opportunity of a lifetime
- Proposing to your soul-mate
- Last boarding announcements at airports
Use one of these factors to create a sense of urgency in your clients.
Which one and how?
If you’ve asked the decision maker great questions, you should’ve received great answers. Your ability to actively listen and understand your client’s feelings should lead you to which factor would be the most effective. I’ve found the Fear of Loss to be the greater motivator. This is especially true in solution based selling.
Find the pain and press on it
Once you have discovered a challenge, problem or pain in your client’s word, isolate it. Now press on it by asking them questions to allow them to come to a realization.
How long has this been an issue?
What impact does it have on the big picture?
What have you done successfully to fight it?
What are the repercussions of letting it continue?
Do you feel my suggestions offer a possible solution?
The client’s reaction
Grimace. Shifting in his or her chair. Uneasy. Uncomfortable. Ripe for change. Time to take action.
If you feel that you are manipulating your client into making a decision, take stock of your conviction and belief in your product, service and solution. If you are truly acting in the client’s best interests first (not yours to make a sale), then you are trying to help them. That’s what strong relationships are made of.
What do you think? I’d love to read your comments below. If you liked this post, share it on your favorite social media platform. This post was based on Chapters 16 and 19 in my book SHUT UP! Stop Talking and Start Making Money.
Thanks for reading!
Dave Warawa – PROSALESGUY
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