Sales success requires that you not only maintain a high degree of sales motivation and confidence in yourself, but also that you be able to translate it over to the customer. This is not a new idea. We’ve heard it a million times before in sales training programs. However, with the state of the economy today, a rising problem is that we’re seeing a lot of industries putting off buying decisions. As I talk with clients and others, I often hear of situations where customers are looking for any reason at all to delay making a decision, including that they simply don’t have enough confidence to warrant making one. The end result? Salespeople are winding up with far too many high potential sales in their prospecting pipeline that do nothing more than eat up a lot of time and energy.
In the past few weeks, a suggestion I’ve given to a lot of salespeople that has proven to be successful is to simply ask a hesitant customer the direct question, “What is your comfort level with your buying decision?” By asking this, you’re challenging them to get it out on the table. (One rule: Don’t ask this question until you’ve attempted to close the sale at least twice.) Use their response to ask a follow-up question that will get beyond the smoke screen they may initially offer. Your objective is to cut through the clutter and either get the sale closed or move on. Don’t let it hang out there for some obscene length of time only to wind up having them buy from somebody else. In today’s environment, you want sales now, not a year from now.
In addition, be careful what you ask the customer. Do not ask, “What would it take to make you comfortable?” This only opens the door for them to ask for a price discount and that’s the last thing you want to do at this point in time. If you have what appears to be a motivated customer, offering up a price discount is only going to take profit out of your pocket and cheapen the value benefit the customer will gain from buying from you.
This isn’t something you would learn in a typical sales training course merely because they traditionally tell you to keep priming the customer, no matter how long it takes. I say throw out conventional rules and use the economy we’re in to make up new ones that will allow you to succeed! You might say the way to build your sales motivation is by being confident enough to break some sales training rules.