INSIGHT: Reasons why clients procrastinate
- 19 January, 2015 09:38
As James Johnson put it... "Hope may spring eternal, but hope doesn't spring deals."
Most sales people say that their biggest sales problem is client procrastination.
Every sales professional feels frustrated when put on hold even after receiving all the buying signals, including agreement on product, price and service.
Whether it’s financing or information technology, sales people sometimes can only wonder;
Is the client being honest with me?
Are there other issues we did not get to know about?
Was our competition better?
Or did we just not create enough value in the mind of the client?
Let’s look at three reasons why your client might procrastinate:
1. Value perception:
The client did not perceive enough value. Without value, there will be no investment. Will it make money, save money, or will it improve their competitiveness.
Without value the only thing that is evident to the client is the cost, which usually means you have at best a 50/50 chance of winning the business.
Convey the value in the clients terms not yours. Recognised value will usually help to prevent procrastination.
2. Client needs:
Value is built when you understand your client’s needs. Strategic and well thought out questions are the keys to success. If you want a better understanding of the client’s situation, ask better questions.
Here’s the problem many sales professionals face:
* They ask questions to satisfy your own need to move the sale along without truly understanding the client needs.
* They ask questions to qualify instead of asking deeper questions to build trust.
Statistics show that clients only give 20% of the information. To gain access to the other 80% you have to build trust.
As the expert, you’re expected to act as the consultant providing and recommending the best direction.
When they turn the tables and start asking you questions about your solution, you know you’re on the right track. If they start stalling, you know you still have more value to provide.
3. Clear air:
The last point is the toughest. You don’t know why the client is not getting back to you. You conveyed value, you asked all the right questions, and they say that they are ready to act yet they fall off the face of the earth.
Is it just me or does this seem to happen more often than ever before? First, you’re excited and then you’re let down. You don’t know what happened. Did they find another solution? Did their priorities change? All you can think about is how you can get them to return your call? It can be tough.
1st - Leave a voice message that reminds them of the need that you can solve.
2nd - Follow up with an email reviewing the needs that they shared and why they said you were a good solution for them. Tell them you’re happy to address any new concerns that may have come up.
If the silence continues, yet you still believe they’re a sound prospect, go back into the ‘add value’ stage of the relationship and see what happens.