How To Give Buyers The Feeling That They Have "Shopped Around" So They Buy Right Now, From You

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A few days ago, I was interviewed on a Podcast. Some of the interview covered this material...but I thought about it, and wanted to flesh it out a little. I hope it's useful. I've used everything posted here hundreds of times. It's proven. I hope you get something out of it. Enjoy.



If you have been in sales more than a month, (or watched the movie Glengarry Glen Ross) you have heard these steps to selling; Attention, Interest, Desire , Action. A.I.D.A.

But what is far more valuable is knowing the steps customers go through to buy. The money is in understanding how people buy...the mental process they go through.

I'm sure there have been books that outline this process, and they may have different words to describe each step, but here's mine....

Coming into focus, Gathering information, shopping, rationalizing their choice, and defending their purchase

Coming into focus. This is them becoming aware that they are interested in something that can be bought, or a problem that can be solved by buying something (any service or product). Maybe they saw an ad, got a direct mail offer, had a friend bring up the subject....something brought the idea of what you sell to their mind.

Gathering information. This could be anywhere from just sending in a postcard for information, a few seconds scanning an ad (some people consider reading an ad as gathering information), talking to friends for an opinion, reading a consumer magazine...all the way to spending a year reading online reviews until their eye's bleed. We all gather information differently, and we all satisfy that itch at different levels of research.

Shopping, This is where they start thinking about individual options, and start narrowing the field...comparing alternatives available to them. This is where they actually view options. And if they are shopping for a retail item, this is where they are in the store generally.

Rationalizing their choice. At this point, they have subconsciously chosen what they are comfortable buying. They just aren't aware of it yet. At this stage they will start giving reasons why one option is better than another....why they don't need certain features. They may say "Well, we need to do something". At the end of this step, they bought, although they may take time talking about it...before they are aware that they have decided to buy.

Defending their purchase. This happens right after they bought, and for a time afterwards. This is the process of telling their spouse, friends, relatives, and themselves....why they bought, and why it's a smart decision.

One thing that most consumers need before they buy is the feeling that they have "shopped around". Let's cover that now.

How do you give them the feeling that they have shopped?

First you have to know why they feel that need to shop...you may be the 3rd life insurance agent that had called them, the fifth retailer they talked to, the fourth company they called for information.. They may have sent in 5 info request cards. Remember, we each have our own definition of "shopping". Some people feel they have "shopped around" because they saw two ads...or two items in the same ad. Some people feel they have shopped when they have seen two items (out of hundreds available)...and some people don't think they have finished shopping until they have seen every single item made that could possibly help them.

But we are talking about feelings here. They need to feel they have shopped. They need to feel that they no longer need to "look around". Let's talk about what you can do, while you are talking with them...on a sales appointment, or in your store...to satisfy that itch.

At the beginning.....when they are first meeting you. You can say.....

"There are several different programs out there. I can get any of them for you, if you like... May I ask a few questions to make sure we are talking about the best one for you?" or

"There are about 100 different options available. I can get any one of them for you, but may I ask a few questions to narrow the search, and find the best options for your situation?"

See how you positioned yourself? Now, you are doing the shopping for them.......but that isn't enough. We want to make absolutely sure, at the end of the sales call (or store visit) that they won't feel the need to shop any further.

Next, you want to ask several qualifying questions that narrow the search.....for example;

"What are you using now?"

"What do you like about it?"

'What don't you like about it?"

"What have you seen up until now?"

"What has been your experience with (whatever you sell, of who sells it)?"

The reason you ask these kinds of questions is two fold;

1) You are genuinely looking for the best product or service for them. And...
2) You are furthering the idea that you are choosing the exact offer that fits them the best.

And when you are actually showing your offer...your product or service....Here is what I do to further cement the idea that they have shopped.

What I'm going to do is show two very similar offers with two similar price points. Either one of these offers would be very beneficial to the buyer. Simplify it by making them very similar....so the difference is maybe one or two features. Maybe talk about two different programs or two options in the same program. Just make sure they are very similar, or you can confuse them. It can be two different companies...or two offers from the same company (or brand).

And my next addition to these two offers is very advanced.

I'll start with three or even four choices. The main two...which fit them well, and one or two others that could work, but are not ideal. Why do I have these other two offers? I want to have something I can recommend that they not buy. For example, in my retail store, I may line up four vacuum cleaners together. The first thing I do is list the prices (to give them time for the price to soak in). Then I may ask another question or two..."Did you say you have carpeted steps...Hmmm..Then I don't recommend this model, because the hose won't reach all your steps".

You want anything to be able to say "No" to an offer. and it cannot be the lowest priced offer. If you tell them you can't recommend the lowest priced offer (of the three or four), they will think it's because you want to sell the higher priced items/offers. You want them to accept that one or two of these offers is not right for them...because you recommend they not buy those offers.

Then I take those other offers away (physically, if possible) and now I have two very similar offers to show them. I want them to be similar enough that only one presentation is needed. Just one or to features are different.

And after you;

1) Offered to be their personal shopper (at the beginning)
2) Asked questions to narrow down the options to just a few.
3) Recommended that one or two options not be for them.........

Now you just have the two options to compare. Rarely will you compare three options (unless they are truly almost identical). Never show four or more options with a serious presentation. You will overload the prospect with information and choices...you will be literally forcing them to not buy today because they "Need to consider everything they learned today". Two options, side by side (even in print, if needed). At the end of this step, they will be deciding which one to buy...not whether to buy. Don't skip a step, every step of the process is needed, to almost guarantee a sale right then..on that call.

Tomorrow (I think) I'll cover the next section of the buying process...rationalizing their choice and defending their purchase... It's right after they see your two real options...and they start the decision making process. A little too lengthy to add to this post. And you'll learn how to use these steps in buying to make sure they get the right thing for them... they get it from you...and they get it right now.

But in my experience, this is where most salespeople (that have got this far at all) blow the sale.



See you then.
#buyers #feeling #give #information
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    I did just that in this ad.

    Gave them the options that I thought they would
    go to in their head,
    be very specific why the option was not good
    using facts and numbers.

    This left one choice, my client.

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    • Profile picture of the author dfrost
      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      I did just that in this ad.

      Gave them the options that I thought they would
      go to in their head,
      be very specific why the option was not good
      using facts and numbers.

      This left one choice, my client.

      Hey Ewenmack that's a fun ad to read, especially in the context of what OP wrote.

      Have you had a chance to test it's effectiveness yet?

      btw, there are a few typos in there, not sure if they're intended. Can point them out if you like.

      Cheers,
      Dee - fellow kiwi
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    As a buyer, If a price is realistic, I'm going with the first person that answers their phone.

    I've had a few times this year where businesses just don't answer their phone during business hours (9-5). These are the same small businesses that spend money on advertising.

    So you can have the fancy ads, best price, best service, whatever, but If you don't communicate with me I could care less If your business exist or not in the end because you're not getting my money.

    Pick any local niche, call the first 5 businesses during regular business hours, odds are a lot of them won't answer.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Pick any local niche, call the first 5 businesses during regular business hours, odds are a lot of them won't answer.
      And here is why lead gen is so difficult...

      Whats even worse... they are shopping around.. but as Yukon states it becomes a matter of who ever picks up the phone will get my business.. and that simple act.. picking up the phone is not so common. I guess I should have filled out the form on thier site and waited 24 hours for a response.

      What I find real interesting... If im going to a specialty store.. im not looking, im there to buy... but time and again salesman get opposite results. Think about this for a moment.. when was the last time you were on a car lot during regular business hours " Just Looking " I never have my self... If Im on the lot during business hours... Im there to buy. I am a guaranteed sale that can only be lost... and it amazes me how often it happens.

      We live in a " NOW " world... people really dont want to shop around.. people really want to go in and BUY.. As Claude states you simply have to lead them through the process of knowing they have done due diligents and feel good about the purchase.

      and ANSWER the damn phone!
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      Success is an ACT not an idea
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    • Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Pick any local niche, call the first 5 businesses during regular business hours, odds are a lot of them won't answer.
      Sole proprietorship, where the business is in a home or just one guy works there.....you'll get that a lot.

      I called 3 guys to take care of our lawn, and it took a couple days for one to call back, and the other two didn't call at all.

      But retail stores? Manufacturers? Chains? Franchises? Businesses with locations and a sign outside will usually answer the phone.

      When I was calling trade associations to get booked as a speaker, I can't remember a phone not being answered.

      If we are with customers (in our store) and the phone rings, sometimes I let it go to voicemail, but I call them right back.

      We don't use Caller ID, because I always answer the phone (except with a vacuum cleaner buyer in the store).....but I hang up in the first few seconds if it's a solicitor...we get about 20 a day or so. If I let them all go through their spiel, it would take 5 hours a day.


      At home? Unless we recognize the number, we don't pick it up.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I have had 2 examples of phone calls I will share.
    I have received 8 calls from a single mobile phone number.
    The number shows clearly and is not blocked.
    I didn't answer it because they rang at inconvenient times, even waking me up twice.
    Yesterday I got sick of it and answered the phone, simply saying "what?"
    It was somebody from the RSPCA trying to get donations and they offer a small "gift" in return. I asked why they kept ringing but never leaving a message.
    The girl said we can't ring them. So I told her to delete my number and never call again.

    The second instance is several similar numbers...approx 10 calls from a different country. The number is clearly displayed but I NEVER get calls from overseas so I ignored them. Because they keep ringing I am going to lodge a formal complaint because it would have to be another telemarketer.

    I know these examples aren't the same as what has been discussed but it does cover how unprofessional companies are when they have leads to ring.
    I have been on every end of calls...from making them, to training staff to make them, to receiving them.

    I do agree with what has been said about businesses answering their phones. I remember I used to need help from a local computer shop but they never answered the phones because they always had face-to-face customers. So I told them they're missing out on my business and that of numerous other potential clients because they can obviously afford to pay someone to answer the phones but don't care enough to do so.
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  • Profile picture of the author sparrow
    awesome very systematic

    I've done a lot of face to face selling and I can say this is a system to follow
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