What is the most important reason that sales fail to close on time or even close at all? When you get a mismatch by sellers selling forward and buyers buying backwards! Sounds like double Dutch? Well this article discusses how to position your proposition in line with the prospect to make them an eager buyer.
Do you remember the last time you bought something that you were really looking forward to owning? What did it feel like when you finally got it, were you excited?
Good sales people arouse that level of excitement in ownership, with their customers. Was it a house or car, I bet you couldn’t wait to get hold of the keys!
For this example, I am going to assume that the purchase was for a house.
But a lot of things had to be done first. You had to make sure that you really wanted what you were going to get, you did your due diligence, after you had responded to some form of marketing communication. You made sure that what you were going to purchase met your needs.
Can you remember how the sales person helped you along the way?
- Answered all of your questions and concerns.
- Helped you come to the conclusion that you had made the right choice.
- Helped you realise what was superior about your intended purchase over and above other things that you had considered along the way.
But before you took ownership, there were probably a number of things you needed to do. Here is a check list, and see if you can remember going through these stages;
- You checked your time scales as to when you could move in, especially if this involved selling an existing house.
- You budgeted for the purchase.
- You organised finance if appropriate.
- You checked out various insurances.
- You sent a copy of the contract to your solicitor to check it out.
- Your solicitor performed appropriate searches to ensure that the property was ok.
- You finally signed a contract, and paid a deposit.
- You then had to plan for moving in on a certain date – what is involved in this stage, is to numerous to detail here.
- Finally you paid the balance, and got your keys.
So in all of those steps, let me ask you – how important was signing the contract?
Yet unfortunately most sales people focus on the contract signature or the close date. This is normally due to pressure from their bosses or indeed outside investors.
Sales people and business owners need to make quota. And in many cases their entire focus is on the close, the contract signature.
So they are selling forward to the contract signature. The buyer on the other hand is thinking about taking ownership. The contract is just a step backwards from that point in their mind.
So to be successful in selling, you must firmly align yourself to your client’s buying steps. Having done this, you should model the steps for success to create a sales process that all sales people in your company can follow.
If you need any help with this, please contact us, it is what we do all the time for SME business owners.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.