Helping Clients to Make a Decision

Indecision is deadly to sales. People think they want to buy something, but they’re not sure what.  Or they know what they want to buy, but they can’t decide on the style or the color, or they may know the style and color, but they just can’t seem to pull the trigger. So today let’s talk about making it easier for people to make a decision.

David:                   Hi and welcome to the podcast!  Today co-host Chris Templeton and I will be talking about making it easier for prospects to make buying decisions. Welcome Chris!

Chris:                     Hi David! You know, humans have been selling things for a long time, but getting that buying decision, I don’t imagine it’s gotten a whole lot easier over time, has it?

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David:                   No, it doesn't seem to have gotten any easier at all. I mean for people who have been in sales for any length of time, you think about how easy or difficult it was to get people to make a decision 20 years ago versus how easy or difficult it is now. I would say there's an argument to be made that it's actually harder now, because there are more choices,  there are more options, there's more competition. So, in a lot of ways I think it probably is actually harder now to get a decision out of someone than it was previously.

Chris:                     I absolutely agree with that. And I think you're right, it's about having so many choices, but I also think it's a good time in terms of personal service really being the thing that is such a nice differentiator for sales and now it's become so easy to buy something without even having to talk to somebody and being in a situation where you're able to provide that personal level of service really in my mind seems to be a good differentiator.

David:                   It does.  It certainly helps with a certain type of buyer who actually wants and needs that relationship. Absolutely.

Chris:                     And some people are just more indecisive than others, aren't they?

David:                   Yeah, I think they are. And you know, you look at that situation, and you say, okay, there's some people that just can't seem to make a decision no matter what. And as a sales person we say, okay, well why is that the case? Why do people have trouble making these types of decisions? Or making any decision at all, and I think a lot of it for buyers tends to boil down to some level of fear. They're afraid of making the wrong choice, they're afraid of getting burned, they're afraid of getting ripped off. They don't want something bad to happen, they're afraid of making a wrong decision and having their boss get angry.  Whatever it is, but a lot of it really just in my mind at least boils down to fear that keeps people from taking action and moving forward and at some point, then it becomes like mental programming. I program myself to not make decisions to put off decisions to hem and haw and procrastinate and it's always harder when an indecisive person is tasked with making a decision. It's frustrating from a sales standpoint when the person who has been put in charge of making that decision refuses to do it, they refuse to essentially do their job. It's very frustrating and it's rampant.

Chris:                     It really is. And I think about it, one of my approaches in sales has always been, I want to help you to make an informed decision that you feel really comfortable with. And I think we lose that. And having that approach with a prospect can really help in moving the sales along. When you look at it, how much of sales in this part of the process is about helping them to see the benefits of the product or service you're selling?

David:                   Well, I think a lot of it is about that and the key word there is helping them - and sometimes when people are not good at making decisions, it's very frustrating for us; and when we look at it and we're just trying to get a decision out of them, we can sometimes forget that the whole reason that we're there is to try to help them with some sort of issue or problem or situation that they have. That's all sales is about. It's about finding the situations, finding the pain points, the pressure points that they need help with, and then helping them with that. So yes, it's first about helping them and it's definitely about helping them to see the benefits of the products and services that we offer. Sales is often referred to as a transfer of enthusiasm. In other words, if I'm enthusiastic about my product and service and I'm a sales person, that that enthusiasm will eventually transfer to the person that I'm talking to. And I think this is particularly true of people who are less decisive. If you can get them excited about the prospect of working with you, or excited about the prospect of what the product or service that you're offering them is going to do for them, then they're going to be a lot more enthusiastic themselves perhaps about making that happen and taking the actions that they need to take on their end to consummate the sale.

Chris:                     And that really brings up the next question, which is what can business owners and salespeople do to make it easier for somebody who's really struggling with this? I mean, I think there are a lot of people that are in this situation as buyers that are genuinely struggling, don't you think?

David:                   I think there are, and I'm going to start with sort of going back to my “go to” answer on a lot of things, which is that first we have to qualify them because if they don't have the need, the desire, the money, the budget, the willingness to spend, then all the rest of it is a total waste of time. So, assuming the person that we're talking to has already been qualified, then at that point we want to say, okay, what do we do to make it easy for someone like that to make a decision? I think it's a matter of knowing and understanding the options and also the flow of the sale.  What it is that they need, what it is that you offer, and then all the options like style and color and things we talked about earlier. So, when they need it is also big, thinking through all sort of the big decisions; and if you think of it as, you know, people often refer to the idea of a sales funnel and the bigger sort of things are at the top of the funnel.  And then we get down to the nitty gritty and the smaller things at the bottom of the funnel, it's the same kind of thing. So recognizing that there are certain things that you're going to have to get on. And first is what is the solution to the problem that they have? And if you get an answer to that, yes, you have the solution, then what's the specific solution? And then what is the particular product, and then what is the size of the product and what is the color of the product or whatever, all the different factors that go into the various buying decisions, depending on what it is that a salesperson is selling.  But a lot of it boils down to that and asking lots of questions up front to get crystal clear on exactly what they need and what gets them excited, what gets them fired up - so that we're not trying to sell them the wrong thing. A lot of times the reason that people are hesitant to take action is that they're just not excited enough about the solution that we're providing or the value compared to the amount of money that is going to have to cost them. So if we're not going to cut price, and I rarely recommend cutting price, it means increasing value, which means letting them understand the value of what it is that you're selling, getting them excited enough about it. So at that point it seems worth far more than the money that it's going to cost them.

Chris:                     You bring up a really good point and I think one of the things that as salespeople, we have a tendency to forget in terms of the value that you're bringing.  You as a salesperson, if your focus is on helping somebody and not helping them just to make the sale, but helping them through the whole process and I'm asking questions throughout the process to make sure we're on the right track and that sort of thing. The value that I bring is a salesperson cannot be under-estimated. It's so important that as a salesperson I think that you recognize that you're bringing value, you're part of that value,

David:                   Right. And part of that value also I think is making sure that we are being as thorough as possible. You know, as salespeople it's tempting to just want to present the information, get a decision and move on. But particularly when you're dealing with people who struggle to make a decision, you want to make sure that you're dotting all the I's and crossing all the T's, answering all their questions, addressing as many questions as possible, asking for their input, asking for their questions, getting them resolved, and making sure that we address all that stuff as much as possible up front rather than waiting for it to become a stumbling block later.

Chris:                     And also asking questions throughout the process. “Is this making sense? I feel like maybe this is a little off. Is there something that you're not comfortable with in what I'm talking about?”, those kinds of questions in a nice and helpful way go miles towards helping to close a sale, don't you think? Absolutely. Okay. Let's talk about the action steps that our listeners can take if they want to make it easier for their prospects to make a buying decision.

How to Make it Easier for Prospects to Decide

  1. Recognize that decision making is easier for some than for others. Take your time with those who struggle and help them through the process.
  2. Get the Diagnosis Right. Make sure you're crystal clear on what they want, need, and what gets them excited. When you're clear on that... sell only that!
  3. Highlight the Benefits & Paint a Picture. Naturally we want to highlight the benefits of what our solution will do for them, but it's best if we can also paint a mental picture of what it will be like when they move forward with us. Experiences and emotions often motivate people far more than typical features and benefits.  So, get them engaged!
  4. Identify the Fear. What are they afraid of? Is it you? The product? The money? When you identify what's holding them back, you can begin to work on alleviating it.
  5. Inspire Confidence and Ask! Sales is a transfer of emotion. When you're confident, they will be more confident. Make an offer so they can say yes. The more offers you make, the more likely it is that someone will say yes.

David:                   Okay. Well I'd start with recognizing that decision making is easier for some than it is for others. It's just a fact. We want to take our time with those who seem to struggle with it and just help them through the process. Second thing is to get the diagnosis right, make sure that we're crystal clear on exactly what they want, what they need and what gets them excited. And then once we're clear on that, only sell that!  Focus on selling that, the particular aspects of the sale that are most appealing to them and the things that are getting them most excited. Third thing we want to do is naturally we want to highlight the benefits of what our solution is going to do for them, but we also want to paint a mental picture of what that's going to be like when they move forward. Very often experiences and emotions motivate people far more than just typical features and benefits.  So, the more we can get them engaged in the idea, painting that mental picture, allowing them to see themselves inside that picture and smiling and feeling happy.  That's going to benefit us and them a lot.  Fourth thing I would look at is identifying the fear. What is it that they're scared of? Is it you? Is it the product? Is it the money? What is it that they're scared of? If you can find out what it is that's holding them back, what it is that's scaring them, then you can at least begin to work on alleviating it. And then the fifth thing, I've got five things, Chris, inspire confidence and ask.  Sales is a transfer of emotion. If you're confident, they will be more confident. So make an offer so they can say yes. So many times salespeople run successful simply because they fail to make an offer. The more offers you make, the better chance somebody has to say yes.  Make an offer!

Chris:                     And if they're saying no, we're going to find out, because we're going to be asking what doesn't work about that in a nice way to get clarity that you need to make the next ask that's more appropriate for the client.

David:                   No question.

Chris:                     Okay, excellent. David, thank you very much for that. Let's talk about what's coming up in our next podcast.

David:                   Okay, Chris, in our next podcast we will talk about how speed of implementation accelerates your results.

Chris:                     I like it, and keep in mind if you're interested in finding out how Topsecrets.com can help you in your business and your sales and marketing efforts, go to Topsecrets.com/call to set up an appointment with the team there to find out how they can be of assistance to you. Thank you, David!

David:                   Thank you, Chris.

If you're tired of flat or declining sales and losing business to your competitors, be sure to check out my latest web presentation entitled Programming Clients to Choose You. Who are your very best prospects currently programmed to buy from? Is it you or someone else? If you want it to be, you, visit topsecrets.com/choose and register for the free presentation now. That's topsecrets.com/choose.

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