The Buying Process; Directing Choice & Cementing The Sale. Most Sales Are Lost Right Here.

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Continued from the thread yesterday; How To Give Buyers The Feeling That They Have "Shopped Around" So They Buy Right Now, From You

Yesterday we summarized the buying process as; Coming into focus, Gathering information, Shopping, Rationalizing their choice, and Defending their purchase. We talked about the shopping process.....the customer feeling that they have "shopped around".


Today we are going to talk about rationalizing their choice, and defending their purchase. This is where most salespeople kill sales.

Usually, during the process of showing two alternative buying choices (either one being a great choice)...the prospect will begin showing a preference for one of the choices. They may do it by asking more questions about one option...or asking questions like "So the only difference between these is...?" which indicates they are leaning toward the slightly cheaper choice.

Here are things you may hear that show you which way they are leaning;
"So the only difference is.....?" (cheaper choice)
(to the spouse), "Do you think we really need the (more expensive option)?"
"Well,we're going to have this for a long time, so we may as well...(get the better option)".

They may even be more subtle like "Well, my Birthday is coming up soon" (getting the more expensive option), or "How often would we use the (one feature the better offer has)?"

If you are talking to a couple, they will talk to each other, giving the other one subtle clues as to which way they are leaning. Just listen. If they are alone, just listen to the questions they ask you. After one or two questions on their part, you should know which way they are leaning....now....

Whichever way they are leaning...start supporting that idea. If they are slightly leaning to the more expensive option, talk about how long they will have it and minimize the cost difference..."One thing I hear often is that our customers are going to own this for 20 years. Over a 20 year period, the $100 difference in price is minimal. What is your thinking on that?" You want to listen to what they say next, and follow their lead.

If they are leaning toward the less expensive model/option, I may say "This really is one of our most popular models". I want them to feel comfortable buying the less expensive choice...again, support whatever way they are leaning.

Occasionally, you'll have some one just sitting there..listening to you...and not volunteering what they think. This doesn't happen often, but you should know what to do. You just ask a direct question like "Which one are you leaning toward?". The important thing here is to not sound biased until they give you a direction to go. You don't want to push them one way, when they want to go the other way. That's how you kill a sale.

What if they hesitate....maybe mumble "I don't know" or show no preference?

I love saying these..
"Would you like to know what most people do?" or "Would you like to know which is more popular?"

And I tell them that the less expensive model(choice) is the more popular option. Why? The odds are very strong that they are thinking of the cheaper price.

But what if they say they still want to think about which way to go?

Remember when I said (in the other post) that these choices should be very similar...with very similar prices? (Like $529 VS $499). I may give a thoughtful look, wait a few seconds (mulling around an idea) and then say "OK, May I make a recommendation? I have more of the higher priced model in stock right now. I'll give the the higher priced option for the lower price. Fair enough?"

You need to make the prices close enough so you can do that without hurting yourself..

Most will say "Yes"...or look at the spouse/partner and ask "What do you think?". "If they ask "What do you think?"...shut up and the the other one talk. They will almost always do what they think the other one wants to do. Here is where they point to an option and say "Let's do that".

Once they chose an option, I look at the spouse (if there is one) and ask "Is that OK with you too?". I just want them to hear each other say that they are wanting to buy.
. It's much...much easier to support a decision someone else has made...than to make the decision yourself.


Does this always work? Not at all. Some people still walk away, buy somewhere else, or decide to buy nothing at all. But these ideas dramatically increase your chance of a sale today. This gives me the best chance of them following my recommendation...without using a gun.

Now, they have bought. The next thing they will do is defend their purchase. Here is another time salespeople kill sales. If you ever get a cancellation, it's probably because you screwed up this step.

Talk about what they bought, or the service they bought. Let them talk about what they are going to do first, when they use it. Let them talk about what they loved the most....and here is the key, describe in detail how everything works, what they can expect (always be conservative in estimates) and tell them again what they are getting or what you are delivering.

I want to cement the sale in so it's unmovable...I want the sale to be bulletproof. And you do that by taking the time to explain everything. Selling and explaining are two different things. People forget. They remember things that weren't promised. They can get confused. And a confused person will cancel. Even if you think they should understand everything you said...explain it after they buy. With me, this may take 10 minutes.

Why is this "defend their purchase" part important, beyond the sale? After you leave (or they leave) they are going to talk to others about their purchase. Believe it. They are going to brag about the deal they got, and about the great product/service they got.

What if a friend says "I can get if for half price on E-bay"? What if their business friend says "I know a guy that can do the same work for less, and faster"?

Well, you aren't going to be there to defend the purchase. So you have to build a shield around the customer so they will still be happy with their decision, even after they get a couple of arrows in their shield. So you need to leave them with one thought....they are certain they made the right choice. And you create that certainty, nobody else.

I hope this helps someone.

Added later;

You may have noticed that this post sounded a lot like it was about closing the sale. This is really the step just before closing, and the step just after closing. What's missing is "answering objections". But if you follow the steps here, you'll have far fewer objections to answer.

When you get objections, it's usually because of two reasons;
1) You haven't matched the product/offer to them perfectly. or..
2) You haven't built their desire to buy enough to eliminate hesitancy.

Much of answering objections is either to give them time to accept the idea of buying...or them not wanting to buy, but afraid to break rapport with you.
#buying #choice #defending #process #purchase #rationalizing
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    That's very good. That is how you block "Buyer's Remorse." Most sales people upon getting the okay for the order will launch right into writing it up. Maybe they'll say something like, "Great! Let me just get some info from you..."

    But I understand that the sale isn't really over even at that point. They can still change their mind. And they can still re-consider it on the drive home because what else are they most likely to talk about? We don't want to get those calls.

    So what I've done is to not be quick to write it up but to take a moment or two to congratulate their decision first. That reassures them they're making a good choice. Then to add how this purchase ties into their buying motives ("This really is a beautiful way to / this really works so well with your wish to [whatever their buying motives are]." That gets them also to agree again and gets them talking postively about how it does just that, which helps reinforce the reasons for the sale.


    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    Now, they have bought. The next thing they will do is defend their purchase. Here is another time salespeople kill sales. If you ever get a cancellation, it's probably because you screwed up this step.

    Talk about what they bought, or the service they bought. Let them talk about what they are going to do first, when they use it. Let them talk about what they loved the most....and here is the key, describe in detail how everything works, what they can expect (always be conservative in estimates) and tell them again what they are getting or what you are delivering.

    I want to cement the sale in so it's unmovable...I want the sale to be bulletproof. And you do that by taking the time to explain everything.
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    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • I know with my business i get the "I have things tied up right now....might look at it next year.....blah, blah. excuse after excuse.

    Then you get the odd..."all looks great where do send the money" Those clients are golden.

    I think it comes down heir mindset. And how much money the ask is for. let say someone with a NW of $10m is asked for $50,000 it is not a huge deal.
    If their NW is $200,000 that $50,000 is over 25% of their networth and become a huge decision.

    My 2 cents worth
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Apparently I can't double-Thank a post, which I just tried to do lol

    This line: "Would you like to know what most people do?" was well worth my second read-through.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post


      This line: "Would you like to know what most people do?" was well worth my second read-through.
      I used a more crude form of this
      when I was quoting lawn mowing...

      "Other people are paying $x for your size lawn."

      I guess the situation I was in was different
      because I was asked to give a quote,
      therefore no need to ask.

      I don't know where I picked up that line from.

      I see it as a way to prevent pushback on price
      and if the prospective client
      hasn't bought a lawn mowing service before,
      it shuts up the thought of...

      "I wonder if I'm paying too much?"

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        I used a more crude form of this
        when I was quoting lawn mowing...

        "Other people are paying for your size lawn."

        I guess the situation I was in was different
        because I was asked to give a quote,
        therefore no need to ask.

        I don't know where I picked up that line.from.

        I see it as a way to prevent pushback on price
        and if the prospective client
        hasn't bought a lawn mowing service before,
        it shuts up the thought of...

        "I wonder if I'm paying too much?"

        Best,
        Ewen

        I find an excellent question to ask when selling a vacuum cleaner is "How long do you want your next vacuum to last?" You can ask this for nearly any product.

        It sets up the idea of paying more for a quality vacuum.

        I got the idea when we went shopping for an ottoman at a furniture store. I was expecting to spend maybe $150...until I met the World's Greatest Furniture Salesman. He asked "How long do you want your ottoman to last?" and I said "Forever, until I die" and he said "Well, then we need to come over here..."

        At the end of a few hours, we spent about $30,000 on new furniture for our new home....One of the very few times I was in the hands of a master salesperson. I loved every minute of it.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I find an excellent question to ask when selling a vacuum cleaner is "How long do you want your next vacuum to last?" You can ask this for nearly any product.

          It sets up the idea of paying more for a quality vacuum.

          I got the idea when we went shopping for an ottoman at a furniture store. I was expecting to spend maybe $150...until I met the World's Greatest Furniture Salesman. He asked "How long do you want your ottoman to last?" and I said "Forever, until I die" and he said "Well, then we need to come over here..."

          At the end of a few hours, we spent about $30,000 on new furniture for our new home....One of the very few times I was in the hands of a master salesperson. I loved every minute of it.
          This is the first time I've come across what he said to you.

          I remember you telling us about him.

          With that question,
          how could you not answer it like you did...really?

          He had you!

          Best,
          Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author eccj
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I find an excellent question to ask when selling a vacuum cleaner is "How long do you want your next vacuum to last?" You can ask this for nearly any product.

          It sets up the idea of paying more for a quality vacuum.

          I got the idea when we went shopping for an ottoman at a furniture store. I was expecting to spend maybe $150...until I met the World's Greatest Furniture Salesman. He asked "How long do you want your ottoman to last?" and I said "Forever, until I die" and he said "Well, then we need to come over here..."

          At the end of a few hours, we spent about $30,000 on new furniture for our new home....One of the very few times I was in the hands of a master salesperson. I loved every minute of it.
          That's a gem.

          It changes the buying criterion away from price and slows the customer down all in a short and totally reasonable question.
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