As someone who has studied intensely the idea of getting customers to “buy in,” it is more apparent than ever that there are 3 major reasons our prospects don’t buy in. Interestingly, these are rarely acknowledged or recognized by most sales professionals. As a result, I believe it keeps them from being far more successful.
Reasons Why They Won’t Buy
- 95% of salespeople talk too much. To come to this conclusion, The Sales Board studied how customers perceived sales people and their interactions and found that 95% of sales people do, in fact, talk too much. They also found that 86% of salespeople ask the wrong questions. So, it’s pretty simple. We talk too much and don’t ask good questions when trying to engage with the customer.
- Prospects believe we are biased. Actually, this is a natural starting mindset of any prospect in almost any selling situation. Their experience tells them that most salespeople are biased and will say almost anything to make the sale. Now, that certainly isn’t always the case, but the profession of selling is indeed painted by that broad brush. Prospective customers are convinced that, while we want them to have an open mind, our mind is closed. We need to understand that this notion of salespeople indeed occupies the “mental space” of the customer. So, if we do not demonstrate with words and actions that we understand that notion, prospects won’t listen intently, converse freely, or ultimately buy.
- The customer believes that we do not understand them. To understand what the customer thinks, we have to ask them – instead of telling them what they think. It’s crucial to really seek understanding of how they currently approach the issue at hand, and then use that information to determine what they are truly looking to do. That means being a great listener and making sure that we have discovered all that needs to be discovered in order to know if our product or service is a fit for them.
I believe this issue is caused by us being so intent in “making a sale” that we rush to tell everything we know and believe about how great our product or service is. Honestly, we’d be far better off to go into the interaction with a different mindset. Instead, let’s stop trying so hard to “sell” and rather help the prospect see that our product or service is a great fit for what they are trying to accomplish. If it is not a great fit, we have no right to try and sell them. That should actually take some pressure off. In turn, this changes your interaction from a sales call to a conversation, in which your objective is to discover (and have the prospect discover, if it’s the case) if there is need for what you’re offering. A last upside to this approach is that, if the fit is obvious to both of you, then you will likely receive even more prospects.
Be Well-Rounded. Don’t Give ‘Em the Go-Round.
In order for a prospect to exchange information with us (which is the essence of getting buy-in), they need to know we are not biased. They must also feel that we truly understand them. In order to do that, we need to talk less, listen more, and ask questions that really engender thinking. Want to get more buy-in? Try that well-rounded approach.