Sales Tips

The Procrastinating Prospect

Procrastinating Prospect
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The Procrastinating Prospect

We’ve all had that one prospect for whom procrastinating is seemingly their hobby.

It’s natural.  An object at rest tends to stay at rest right?  Therefore, it is sometimes darn near impossible to get some of these folks to stop procrastinating.

Remember…

  1. It’s important to recognize the why behind the behavior here.  First off, the prospective customer has lived their life so far without your product.  That would lead one to believe that your product is not essential to their existence.
  2. Second, although folks want to buy, they don’t necessarily want to be sold. 
  3. Lastly, they must be shown the value we are bringing them and the benefit our product.

Let’s tackle these in order.

Why are they procrastinating to begin with?

For starters, procrastination is part of human nature.  It is much easier to sit on the couch than it is to get up and paint the fence.  By the same token, they have been doing fine (at least in their eyes) up until now without our product, why should they be in a hurry to sign on the dotted line with us before they’ve “gotten all their ducks in a row”?

If they are still stagnant after we have presented and followed up properly, there is nothing wrong with pointing out the elephant in the room.  Ask them why they aren’t moving forward?  They took the appointment, made the inquiry, or requested the estimated because they were interested in buying right?

What haven’t YOU done to ensure they are ready to move forward?  Ask yourself this, but equally important, ask the customer the same question.  Eight out of ten times, one of you will have the answer here.  Perhaps they don’t see the value yet…  show them.  Maybe you haven’t explained pricing properly…  show them.  It’s possible they feel the need to shop around still.  If this is the case, resist the urge to besmirch your competition.  Instead, build yourself and your product up by selling each benefit your product offers and your competition can’t (the customer should come to their own conclusions without you blatantly hammering the point).

Now, no matter whether you feel it’s time or not, toss in a simple “why don’t we go ahead and get this off your to-do list” close.  You’ll be surprised at how often this will work.  At the very least, it will bring out an objection beyond “OK… I have your number, I’m gonna chew on this.”

Point number two above brings up a strange phenomenon that has only grown more prevalent in the information age.

Our customers often feel as if they’ve done the research, they just want to buy without being sold.  Here’s where we straddle the razor’s edge.  We have to figure out how to show them the benefits without outright selling.

One might think an educated client is a good thing right?  An educated client is indeed, great, however it is important to remember how they received that education.  More than likely, they have performed Google-Fu and now feel that their grasp of product knowledge and pricing is on par with yours.  They know how your competitors are priced and sadly, are probably expecting to get the bait-and-switch price advertised online for nearly every product imaginable.

Rather than play salesperson/customer, why not team up with a client like this?  They’ve shown enough interest and initiative to learn about what we do and how we do it.  Why not merely peel back the curtain and let them sell themselves?  Their inclusion in the process gains ultimate buy-in and how can they object with themselves.  This also throws price out the window.

A perfect example of the above statement is these “Build Your Own Burger” restaurants.  Sure, for $8.99 you can order the pre-designed Ranch Hand Burger w/ fries.  You can also use this tiny golf pencil and run down our list of ingredients to build you perfect burger.  The secret is, that burger YOU designed, has a way higher profit margin because you either tossed enough crap on there to run the price up to $11.99 or you skimped so hard that your $9.99 build-a-burger cost less to make than ordering one of the pre-designed burgers sans an ingredient or two.  Either way, customer and restaurant are happy!

Finally, By painting the vision of what their life will look and feel like post-purchase, we can set them in motion.

The truth is, if the customer is procrastinating now.  They will continue to do so.  It is our job to show them this reality.

First, weave the tale of the extra time and energy they will spend by shopping around or the money they will lose each day/week/month by not moving forward.  Remind them of the guy who drives to 5 different stores to buy a washer and dryer, only to finally end up returning to the first store after wasting his entire Sunday and missing the game.

Next, paint the picture of how good it will feel to have this task completed.  They can cross it off their list and move on with their lives.  Waiting to buy only means that feeling of completion will be delayed further and they’ll have to deal with more salespeople that might not be as personable as you.

Now…  CLOSE!

Now that you’ve made it this far into this blog post, I know you got a solid takeaway.  Please feel free to subscribe to my mailing list for free BONUS content and to be alerted the day my books are released.  I will not spam or sell your info.

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If you took something away from this, please check out my book 30 Minute Sales Coach Presents Sell Smarter: Seven Simple Strategies for Sales Success on Amazon. It is densely packed with easy-to-implement sales info.

Scott Fishman
With over two decades of experience as a sales professional, Scott has seen it all. Not only has he been consistently at the top of his field, but he has helped to train, coach and mentor an entire new generation of sales professionals as well. It's time that Scott has shared his expertise with the world. It started with The Seven Minute Sales Minute podcast and continues with The 30 Minute Sales Coach Books. Scott is excited to share his knowledge with you.
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