Keep Prospects From "Thinking It Over" And Shopping Other Offers

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If you sell one idea, one package, one program, one service, one product....or even just a few offers, this will apply to you. If you sell 1,000 different items, it will not apply to you.

This is the single smartest thing I have ever implemented in my own selling. Nobody does it, and it will absolutely shoot your sales closing percentage through the roof.

Ready? Here is the two step process to perfectly match your offer to what the prospect is thinking they need. How to make your offer look like it was absolutely created to perfectly fit that buyer...personally.

This first step will be a little time consuming, a few hours, and therefore almost nobody will do it. But if you do...your sales will shoot through the roof. I know, because that's what implementing this idea did for me.

I call it "The Three Lists". I have no idea where I got this idea....but if you do it, it's power will become brain dead obvious to you.

First, take a sheet of paper (it's better to write it down than type it) and list every single feature your offer has. I mean each small individual feature. If you sell a lawn mower, don't just say "Sharp blade"...write "Sharp steel blade", and "curved steel" and "heat treated"....every single feature. Break it down. When I was selling a single vacuum cleaner in people's homes, I listed about 120 features. I'm not kidding.

Now, take the second few sheets of paper...and for every feature you listed, write down a benefit to the customer. What does a sharp blade mean to the customer? If you sell life insurance, what does each provision in the policy mean to the customer? How do they benefit? Some features will have multiple benefits. List them all. Write then all longhand....on paper. When I did this for that one vacuum cleaner I was selling, I think I got 300 benefits.

The third list is actually two lists, but they are very short. List all the reasons you can think of (from the customer's point of view) that the customer should buy from you specifically...and not another person selling the same thing. And now list all the reasons they should buy today and not tomorrow. You may only get a few reasons on each of these last two lists, but it's important.

Let's pretend you are one of those rare people who have actually done what I suggested. What do you have now?.....

You now have a complete understanding of every possible reason someone should buy what you sell...from you...right now. You have those reasons from the customer's point of view. And all those reasons have now been seared into your mind to be recalled whenever it benefits you.

Now....the second part of this? The part where the right features and benefits will be shown to the buyer, to perfectly match your offer to them?

It's in the qualifying part...before the actual presentation. You ask all the questions you need to know to then match the benefits you choose with the prospect's image of what they want.

For example, in my business of selling a vacuum cleaner, I ask the following questions;
1) Do you want to vacuum carpets only, or carpets and bare floors?
2) Do you prefer upright or canister models (and I ask if they know the difference)
3) Do you have pets that shed?
4) Allergies?
5) Carpeted steps?
6) What are you using now?
7) What about that vacuum do you want changed in the new one?
8) Is there a price range you need to stay within?

Of course, you can translate this idea to any business, these are just the questions I ask my customers.

Here's something most people overlook...if they say "No" to a question, I just don't bring it up again. "Do you have pets that shed?" And they say "No"...

I don't ask why...I don't mention pets again. Why? Because it doesn't apply to them at all. Only talk about what applies to them.

Here is a short video where I talk about that more.

Let's say that you have listed 50 features and 100 total benefits...How many do you mention? Only the ones that apply. For example, in my own selling, maybe only 5 features really apply to that buyer. So I talk about the five features and (let's say) 10 benefits they give the buyer.

To the buyer, your offer now perfectly matches their image of exactly what they want.

What about all the other features? They are free....bonuses....but I don't talk about them, unless asked.

Now, if you actually have a different offer that more closely matches what the buyer has told that product...because it will be a more obvious match.

This method only works if the benefits they see from you are worth more than the money you are charging. In other words, if I'm only showing them 5 features out of a possible 50...those 5 features have to be worth much more to the customer than the price I'm charging. You have to play fair. And these ideas only work, if you are offering a great value.

What keeps the prospect from now shopping? They have found something the perfectly matches what they were looking for. And this is where asking all those qualifying questions comes in...

By asking qualifying questions, you show that you are really trying to match them with what they need, rather than just what you want to sell.

This is why doctors almost never hear "I'm going to shop around". They ask questions, show concern, exhibit expertise, and make a recommendation. And that's what you are doing here.

I hope this helps someone. It sure helped me.
#offers #prospects #shopping #thinking it over
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  • Profile picture of the author AmericanMuscleTA
    I think I'm going to wait to see what others think about this "two-step process."


    David Hunter | Duke of Marketing

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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by AmericanMuscleTA View Post

      I think I'm going to wait to see what others think about this "two-step process."


      What's interesting to me is that this is the idea that doesn't get a good response. I don't mean just here, I mean when I speak to audiences of salespeople.

      I get's time consuming, and work.This idea isn't shiny. It doesn't promise a magic solution.

      But it's also the single most productive thing I have ever done, with the possible exception of defining my "Highly Likely Buyers" and targeting them.

      When giving talks, I used to have my own lists with me...all hand written was maybe 10 or 12 pages long.

      The first time someone asked to see them, I handed it to them and they looked disappointed and said "Oh, that's all it is". After that I refused to let anyone see the lists.

      In the vacuum cleaner retail business, I've been the keynote speaker at the national convention. I'm the only speaker they had every year that they actually paid. I've had (several years ago) maybe a dozen people in my business, fly in to watch me sell for a day....why? Because on average, about 80% of the people that walk in the store...thinking about a vacuum from me..that prices about $25-30% above industry average.

      To me, that 80% also means I screwed up about 20% of the time, but for some reason, these stats are impressive to store owners.

      And then they ask "How can I sell 80% of the browsers that walk into my store?"

      And I tell them about the three lists, and matching the product to the customer. I also talk about bracketing the models in groups of three, to sell the middle model.

      And always...always...I see a look of disappointment when I talk about the lists.

      Even when they see me sell a vacuum cleaner, to them it just looks like I happen to be showing the vacuum cleaner the customer came in to buy. But I'm not. They didn't come in to buy. They came in to "check prices" or "ask a few questions". To the uninitiated, it looks exactly like....luck.

      I have even stopped talking about it to my $500 an hour phone consulting clients. Even though's my single most powerful method to increase your closing percentage.

      Why? Nobody wants to see the sausage made, or know how it's made....because it's boring, sweaty, hard work.

      It reminds me of when magicians get asked how they did a trick. The real answer is always disappointing. First the actual trick...and then the inevitable "Practice it 10,000 times before you go on stage". And nobody believes that's the answer. Because it's really just a little smarts, and a whole lot of hard work.

      Of everything I teach...which also means everything I've used myself, this is the single most productive activity I've ever implemented myself...

      And as far as I know...nobody I've taught it to has ever made the effort.
      One Call Closing book

      What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin

    This is one of the most interesting things I've read on the Warrior Forum in ages. Thanks.

    It got me thinking about a parallel or perhaps related phenomenon where people get it into their heads that a certain method cannot work and therefore will not try it. A couple of decades ago, I read in a book by Robert Fritz about a music teaching method where the learner spends a week practicing an exercise, plays it for the teacher, disappointed that he has not mastered it, then spends the next week practicing another exercise, with the same result. This sounds like a recipe for failure, except that the exercises are progressively slightly harder, and by the time the learner gets to the end of the book, he tries the first exercise again and he can now play it perfectly.

    I think if you told someone to learn something by tackling harder and harder exercises, even though you hadn't done any of them correctly, they wouldn't do it, because it sounds like this couldn't work.

    So I wonder if we could bat ideas around about people's concept of what a method of selling or learning needs to look like before they're willing to try it.

    I think this comes up in the weight loss field a lot. What really does work sounds too stupid for people to latch onto.

    Thoughts on all this, anyone?

    Marcia Yudkin
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

      I think if you told someone to learn something by tackling harder and harder exercises, even though you hadn't done any of them correctly, they wouldn't do it, because it sounds like this couldn't work.

      So I wonder if we could bat ideas around about people's concept of what a method of selling or learning needs to look like before they're willing to try it.

      In many books on selling I've read ideas that I can immediately tell that the author has never personally tried. They repeat something they read in another book that sounds sounds sounds like it would work.

      But I'm explaining something I tested myself, and have seen the concrete results.

      I first used it when selling a single product in people's homes. I did it again when I decided to sell a different product (life insurance) because my primary business had an industry downturn (a loss of consumer financing in 1981).

      And I did it again when I launched my local online marketing service.

      Maybe one way to state the benefit of doing this exercise would be "How would you like to have the 200 best reasons that the prospect should buy from you at your fingertips...and the way to instantly know which 5 will get you the sale right now?"

      I think I remember a sales speaker once say "Have more reasons for them to say "Yes" than they have reasons to say "No". This idea is simply a vast expansion on that statement.

      I wish I remembered where I picked up this idea. Maybe I put it together myself. Who knows.
      One Call Closing book

      What if they're not stars? What if they are holes poked in the top of a container so we can breath?
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  • Profile picture of the author SARubin
    Excellent post, Claude. (But coming from the source, I'm not surprised that it's brilliant)

    You've been posting some winning stuff over the last few weeks (and this time I can actually add something to the conversation... so yay!)

    Your method is similar (in part) to the method I use for fleshing out a direction for writing sales copy.

    Write down the features of the product, or service...
    Turn them into benefits for the customer...
    And try to present them in the most compelling way possible...

    The main difference with sales "copy" is we don't get to ask our audience any questions, during the presentation.

    They have complete control over where their attention goes, and they can "tune out" at any time, without us having the ability to know whether they're still paying attention, or not.

    So we need to anticipate their buying criteria, as best as we can, before the sale gets underway.

    Of course that's where researching an audience, and immersing ourselves in the market, comes into play. (so we can try to understand the mindset, and buying criteria of the audience)

    I guess the balance is that a sales piece can be seen by thousands of people at a time (so we do have the numbers working in our favor)

    But the basic concept you present, for preparing your presentation, is very similar to what should be done, before crafting sales copy.

    Again, another great thread. With all the good stuff you've been posting lately, it's almost like you're filling the pages of a book. (I've already bought a couple of your books on Amazon, but I feel like I should be sending you a check for $19.95 for all the info you're posting on this forum)

    All the best,

    Grow Your Copywriting Skills & Network with Other Copywriting Professionals - Join us at the Copywriters Forum

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