08/06/2016 - 13:31

Never miss an opportunity

08/06/2016 - 13:31

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If you play close attention and listen, you won’t miss the signs that your prospect is ready to buy.

Never miss an opportunity
LISTEN: A client shouldn’t need to shout for you to hear the sales signals. Photo: iStockphoto/Roberto David

If you play close attention and listen, you won’t miss the signs that your prospect is ready to buy.

The link between the presentation and the close of the sale are buying signals. Recognising the signals to buy is one of the nuance areas in the science of selling. I don’t believe that selling is an art; I believe that selling is a science.

There are nuances to the process.

When you get a buying signal, the science is you taking action. The nuance is your ability to recognise the signal. If you listen to the buyer, he or she will give you the signals. One of the problems is that most salespeople don’t listen very well.

Buying signal quiz

The biggest buying signal is a …
(a) Body signal or body language.
(b) An objection.
(c) A question asked by the buyer.

Is it (a) body language? No. Manipulative, overstated and irrelevant.

Is it (b) an objection? Sometimes. The buyer is asking for information in addition to what you said, or different from what you said.

The answer is (c) … a question. You may just be thinking of them as questions that the buyer is asking, but that’s a big listening mistake. An objection means you haven’t sold me yet, but a question indicates genuine buyer interest.

Your job is to listen beyond the question. Your job is to listen for the motive.

When you hear the question, that’s your signal to begin to ask for the sale or know that the sale is imminent (if you answer in a way that reduces risk or creates some kind of green light to enable them (you) to move forward).

As a professional salesperson, your job is to recognise the question, the buying signal, and then convert it to a sale. Recognising it is the hard part. Here are the ‘how to recognise’ ground rules, things to look out for and do (not do) …
• Any question asked by the prospect must be considered a buying signal.
• Preventing the question from being asked by talking too much, thereby preventing you from uncovering vital elements to make the sale.

Your job is to ask customers and prospects in order to give them an opportunity to think, respond, and ask you. Questions beget questions.
• Avoiding the question by being sales cute.

Example: ‘Ahhhh how much is this?’

‘Well, how much do you want to pay?’

Or even ignoring the question, which is what they taught you in old, manipulative sales school by saying if they really want to ask that question they will ask it again.

Don’t try and make the prospect feel bad while you use your arrogance and actually go past the sale.

• Answering the question and not asking for the sale. That would be called a big, big, big mistake.

Some buying signals and questions to look for.

1. Questions about availability or time.
‘Are these in stock?’
‘How often do you receive new shipments?’
Now let me explain something to you. There is a principle in selling, which is the principle of leaning forward. Questions make the prospect lean forward with interest to the answer that you provide. Now, when you understand these signals, you’re going to notice them all the time. Your job as a salesperson is to get the prospect to lean forward with interest. ‘What is your normal delivery time?’ ‘What’s the warranty?’ How much more of a buying signal could you want?

2. Questions about delivery.
‘How soon can someone be here?’
‘How much notice do I have to give you?’
Answer their question, and at the same time ask them a question to begin confirmation of the sale.

3. Questions about rates, price, or statements about affordability.
‘How much does this cost?’
‘What is the price?’
‘I don’t know if I can afford it.’
What they are saying is that they want it. The only question is, how much? So the next part of that would be ...

4. Questions or statements about money.
‘How much money would I have to put down to get this?’
Or even, ‘this costs too much.’

Those are huge buying signals. When someone wants to know the price, or what the terms could be or even if they are objecting to it, it means that they are interested in it.

Stay tuned for more buying signals in future weeks.

Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development.
© 2016 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.


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