By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®
In my B2C buying experiences, timeshare salespeople are by far the most aggressive closers. First they lure you in and make you feel beholding to them by giving what are theoretically free trips, meals, airline tickets, etc. Next come attempts to sell you on beautiful spots and then you start to think you should go on vacations more often. Finally they have private meetings with each couple and the threat that if you leave the premises they won’t honor the “special pricing” that has been offered. Ultimately they pressure you until you buy or leave.
With this as a backdrop, I ask you to realize that closing often makes people uncomfortable. There will always be risk associated with spending money in wondering if it is a good decision. Realize that when you close has a great deal to do with how much perceived risk there will be in making buying decisions.
In my mind, before a seller has earned the right to close, he/she should know that the buyer has the authority to commit. It is demeaning to ask a buyer to do something he or she isn’t empowered to do.
When in front of decision makers, there are several things buyers should know before sellers close them:
- The desired business outcome(s) they want to achieve
- The reasons outcomes can’t be achieved in the buyer’s current situation
- The specific capabilities that address the reasons
- The potential value or payback of the offering
- The price of the offering
- The cost of delay (the projected monthly savings)
If buyers know all of these things, the close should be far less stressful for both parties than it otherwise would be. Some sellers may discover that if all the items above are known by decision makers, some will actually volunteer to buy.
I know there will be months or quarters where sellers have to ask for the business before buyers are fully ready to buy. Be aware you may scare some buyers into making “no decision.” The best case may be that you get the business but have to incent the buyer with a discount or concession, which means leaving money on the table.