By Keith Rosen, MCC
The Executive Sales Coach TM
I’ve come across many salespeople who sell themselves right out of a sale. Though talented and competent, they do not take the time to recognize the prospect’s desire or readiness to buy. It’s critical to be able to identify the buying signs so that you don’t oversell your product.
Buying signs are communication signals that suggest the prospect is now ready to discuss how they can take ownership of your product and how it would specifically benefit and work for them. In other words, they are now proverbially sold on your product or service and are ready to discuss purchasing from you.
Buying signals usually take on the form of statements or questions from the prospect; these assertions or inquiries bring them one step closer to the comfort zone of making the purchase.
If you fail to recognize the buying signs, you run the risk of overselling your product and missing the window of opportunity when a prospect is most receptive to becoming one of your clients. If you continue to share information or deliver your presentation to a prospect who has already communicated buying signals, that prospect can interpret this as inattention and or superfluity on your part. Either way, an inability to pick up on your prospect’s signals may cost you the sale.
Buying signs can show up within the first few minutes of a conversation; or they may not emerge until the end of your meeting. In short, they can show up at any time. It’s up to you to hone in on these signals so that you can adjust your pitch accordingly and approach the close when it’s most appropriate to do so.
Here is a list of questions that could suggest a prospect’s interest to learn more or to buy:
- Are there any other styles or colors to choose from?
- How quickly can you get this project underway?
- How long would it take to complete this project?
- How much money do you need to begin this service?
- Do you offer financing?
- Have you worked with other companies in my area?
- Can I speak to one of your current customers?
- What type of warranty comes with this product?
- What type of service does your company offer?
- Are there any other types of warranty coverage available?
- Do I have to do the whole project now or can I do it in stages?
- Are there any other discounts available?
- What sort of monthly installment can you offer me?
- How will this work regarding my situation?
- What type of results could I expect?
Questions on turnaround time, integration, installation, delivery, date or start of service, available features, expected results, product guarentees, and or installment terms, all signal that you are closer to earning a sale.
Other questions that a prospect may ask can be drawn from past purchasing experiences. Those prospects who have had bad experiences in the past with either a company or a product will need to know that they are making the right purchasing decision with you. This can manifest itself as support building questions asked by the prospect.
Concerns over past problems indicate that a prospect may be a bit timid or skeptical. They are looking for the reassurance and support that they are making the right decision in using your services.
Here are some examples of a prospect utilizing support building questions:
- I purchased this computer one year ago. When I called the company for a service call, I found out they have already gone out of business. I certainly do not want to go through that again. What’s your company’s background?
- The insurance agent with whom I worked led me to believe that I had more coverage than I actually had. I need to know that I am going to be fully covered in case of an emergency. How can I be so sure that your policy is going to offer me this protection?
- Is this for me?
- Are you sure that this is the best price you can give me?
- If I make this purchase, will this be the last time I will ever have to worry about this situation?
- Will this warranty cover all possible problems that may occur with your product?
- What doesn’t this warranty cover?
- Can your competitors offer me something better?
You may find yourself in a situation where the prospect repeats the same question several times. Do not become annoyed. To repeat questions reveals the prospect’s need for more assurance before he or she makes a purchase. The prospect may simply want to hear an answer more than once. It can also mean that they haven’t fully grasped all of the information that you have laid out for them, and they need to hear it once more.
- Can you review what the warranty and service policy will cover one more time?
- Can you show me how your product works again?
- Will you go over those financing terms once more?
- How quickly is the turn around time for account servicing?
- So what this includes is … ?
- And you are sure that once I start using this … ?
If you open your eyes and ears, all the answers are right there in front of you. The answers to closing a sale are drawn from the employment of powerful and thought-provoking questions.
About Keith Rosen, MCC — The Executive Sales Coach
Keith Rosen is the executive sales coach that top corporations, executives, and sales professionals call first. As an engaging speaker, Master Coach, and well-known author of many books and articles, Keith is one of the foremost authorities on coaching people to achieve positive change in their attitude, behavior, and results. For his work as a pioneer and leader in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country.
If you’re ready for better results quickly, contact Keith about personal or team coaching and training at 1-888-262-2450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Keith Rosen online at Profit Builders and be sure to sign up for his free newsletter The Winners Path.