A buying process is a series of decisions. The selling process must be a facilitation of those decisions. Weak salespeople leave meetings and conversations without decisions or commitments.
The other problem is that prospects really don’t know how to buy or decide what to buy when they haven’t done it before. To compensate, they apply how they buy everything else to the buying process. They use RFP’s, “get three bids,” and short list meetings to try and figure it out. The reality is that none of these buying processes give the prospect what they want: a good decision.
Salespeople must get prospects to agree to make decisions throughout the sales process. They need to help define what those decisions should be and help the prospect assign parameters for those decisions. The decision should not be biased in any way. In other words, we are deciding yes vs. no, stop vs. start, next steps vs. no next steps.
When a prospect knows what decision is being made, the parameters for that decision, and that making a decision that doesn’t benefit the salesperson is okay, they gladly make decisions. And often, they turn out to be decisions that benefit them.
On the other hand, getting decisions to be made is one thing – getting them to be made quickly is another. There must be urgency to make decisions, otherwise the decision will be postponed.
It could be that we decide to make a decision by the end of the meeting. That gives us urgency to figure it out by meeting end, and sometimes that is enough. Sometimes nobody wants to make a decision. The consequence of the decision might be too big, or it might be meaningless. These are only real problems when the prospect is not seeing the urgency on their own. Some people just can’t feel the pain—they are in sales shock.
In this case, it is up to the salesperson to expose the urgency that the prospect isn’t seeing. Maybe the prospect has never done the calculations. Maybe they haven’t thought of things that way before.
Urgency makes things move much more quickly than without. Do not be afraid to show prospects that they have a problem that needs to be solved quickly – and that your business can do it.