Why Don’t My Sales Prospects Take Buying Decisions?

Even if you have been in the sales business for a while, you might occassionally find yourself in the situation where your proposals are going out thick and fast; your sales pipeline is getting thicker and thicker; yet… no deals?So you probably have sat down to review what the heck you have been doing wrong, right?I have found that with most sales people facing the above scenario, they typically tick off the following:- Right Product/Solution Offering- Right Customer/Industry- Right Decision Maker/s- Right /Price/Termsand then end up wondering why the deal does not go down-even when you have your prospect agreeing that there is a need.Why we don’t close deals: Two main reasons-1) Clients do not see the VALUE- i.e. the importance/ impact that the decision will have on their business• One of the most significant reasons why we do not close deals is that we fail to assist the customer in realising the IMPORTANCE TO THEM/THEIR BUSINESS of the decision they need to take.• We therefore need to DISTURB our customers when presenting/demonstrating our solution• If we do not DISTURB the customer sufficiently in our sales presentation/demo, why would the client be motivated to sign on the dotted line?• “DISTURBING the client” can be as a result of ourselves highlighting that our solution will substantially improve:

• one or more of their “current ways of working” eg. an area of their business currently causing them frustration• their profitability/finances/cashflow• The best way to find out what the financial impact will be of them taking a decision to buy our solution, IS TO ASK THEM!• Once you have the answer, you can use the Rand value put forward by them to highlight the savings that they will be making, OR alternatively, the increased earnings that they will be generating.• You can also now use terms such as “your investment is R… /your return on investment is R… ” as opposed to: “this will cost you R… “, or: “the price is R…”• Remember to compare like with like i.e. if client is talking “monthly costs/savings”, then you need to talk “monthly investment”• Eliminate “price/cost” from your thinking and from your language. They are negative words.• From now on use “investment/return on investment” You will be surprised at how this focuses you and your client on the VALUE of the business decision they need to make.2) Clients do not see the URGENCY of taking a decision now• Let’s face it, the reasons why we take decisions is to either “avoid pain” or “seek comfort”• Our customers are no different• As sales people, our job is to highlight the pain that our customers are experiencing and demonstrate the comfort that they will secure when they take the decision to buy from us!• The longer our clients are left with our proposal, to take a decision on, the less likely the decision will be a favourable oneThe “importance” of taking a decision, now, loses momentumThey forget why they should changeThe excitement of taking a decision is lostRemember, 70% of business decisions are made based upon emotion, only 30% of business decisions are based upon rationality/logic!• The best way to get a customer to take a decision now, rather than later, is to emphasise the Rand value costs, per month, of them not taking a decision. Eg. if a client states that their current way of working is costing them R 200 000 per month, then the cost of them not taking a decision NOW is R 200 000 in the first month; R 400 000 over two months; R 600 000 over three months, and so on.• Therefore, don’t ever propose to a client without stressing the costs of them not taking or delaying a decision• Furthermore, do not ever propose to a client without getting a commitment from them as to the date that they will take a decision on your proposal.• If the client cannot see the Rand value benefit of taking a decision now rather than later, then ask them when they would like to have the “product/solution delivered/installed (obviously assuming they do decide to go ahead).

• If they say “in two months”, then backward plan with them to prove to them that in order to secure the resources (perhaps there are training and installation requirements that need to be met prior to usage?) to meet their deadline, you will need a decision from them by the end of say, next week- eg. “Friday, the 20th”. When you use this method, clients will not feel unfairly pressurised by you into taking a decision• Then secure an agreement with the client to follow up with them the following Monday, if you do not hear from them on the Friday.This is not an unreasonable request and places positive pressure on the client to make a decision• You will be surprised at how this sharpens the mind of the customer and helps you to secure a decision from them, sooner rather than later.If you focus on these two reasons above- IMPORTANCE and URGENCY, you will close more deals, sooner, and you will be able to record legitimate “Expected dates of Decisions” in your pipeline report- and hold clients to them!You will also not have to keep on rolling deals forward, month to month, in your pipelines, because “clients are not able to make a decision”Most importantly, you will meet if not exceed your monthly sales target!!