Have you ever given thought to how people decide to buy a product or service? Consider yourself in this analogy – do you employ any of these strategies? We believe we have a need or we determine that we have a need for a product or service. With the Internet at our fingertips, we immediately do some research on whatever we are in the market for. This process may take minutes or it may take hours depending on whether you are a detail person or just want a quick overview. In addition to our Internet search, we may also ask family and friends for their recommendations.
We’ve determined by now that we require the product or service because it’s going to solve a problem, save us time, effort and money or it’s going to make the family happy or it’s going to make fear or pain go away.
Armed and ready, off we go to find the product or service we require. When we get in front of a salesperson the last thing we’re going to do is tell them that we’re ready to buy. Not only that but we’re cautious about telling the salesperson that we really need the product and we’re certainly not going to tell them that their product or service will solve a problem we have. We don’t want to do that because we’re afraid the salesperson will sell us something we don’t need or charge us an exorbitant price because they’ll see we’re desperate.
If any of this hits home, continue reading …
Now let’s look at the situation from the salesperson’s perspective. A person calls or arrives at your place of business and starts asking lots of questions – that must mean they’re really interested in what you have. You think they’re really serious when they’re asking so many questions. This will make them better informed and so, chances are that they’ll make a decision to buy quickly.
Sometimes you as the salesperson will ask questions to determine what the prospect’s real needs are, but are you getting to the real problem? The prospect is being evasive and only providing minimal details of their real needs. As a salesperson, you feel the more you tell the more informed the prospect will be therefore they will believe you’re a knowledgeable person. If you provide the information they want, whether that’s verbally or in written form –a proposal or quote — then why are there so many ‘thought to be’ sales not happening?
Why do prospects and salespeople play games? If the prospect has a need, want or desire for a product or service, then why don’t they ask for it? If the salesperson has the product or service that will solve the problem, then why are salespeople not closing more sales? Both prospects and salespeople play games but most of the time, neither side realizes they’re doing it.
Let’s take a look at what both sides do and what can be done.
- Lie because they feel they’ll be taken advantage of if they tell you what their real needs are.
- Want to gather as much information as possible because they may not be ready to buy.
- Even when prospects are ready to buy, they make excuses as to why they won’t buy today or from you.
- Ask questions or say things that may not be relevant to why they are looking for a product or service.
- Want to tell prospects as much as possible about their product or service because they feel the prospect will be better informed and able to make the decision.
- Are motivated by their reasons not the prospect’s reasons.
- Believe that every prospect they get in front is qualified and needs their products or services.
- Lose out on sales because they feel desperate to close business.
How to eliminate the games prospects and salespeople play?
- Set an up-front contract for every interaction with the prospect.
- Ask questions to determine what’s important to the prospect.
- Help the prospect uncover their problems and realize you’re the solution.
- Listen to what your prospect tells you.
- Stop selling features and benefits.