Sales Smarts: Don’t Miss Buying Signals!
You’ve worked hard on your sales presentation, made your pitch, and then…What next? How do you know when to go for the close? You don’t want to miss the buying signals. This is a critical issue for sales people, but it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Missing buying signals will hurt your closing ratios.
Buying signals are your key for identifying when to ask for the sale. There are three common mistakes in timing when closing the deal:
- Asking too soon. The sales process is like getting married. You don’t propose the first time you meet: you have to build the relationship first.
- Asking too late. If you don’t close in time, a client may choose to go with someone else.
- Not asking at all. Out of ten sales that don’t convert, seven never ask for the sale.
Before we go any further, realize that sometimes we do not get a clear buying signal because we spent time courting the wrong person or an unqualified lead.
Don’t expect to get a clear buying signal from an unqualified lead. Make sure to book appointments with people who might actually buy. The following scenarios could put you in front of the wrong people:
1. Hoping that a “getting to know you” meeting will turn into a sales meeting. A get-acquainted session is not a place to sell, but rather a place to build the relationship and help the client know, like and trust you. Do not try and turn it into a sales meeting.
2. Turning a social call into a business meeting. This is deceptive, manipulative, and a terrible way to build trust. It surprises people at the last minute and makes them question your motives.
Don’t miss buying signals by avoiding the following:
- Focusing on your sales pitch rather than listening and watching for buying signals. You can’t talk people into a sale by pushing information at them.
- Not asking enough questions. If you talk the whole time, you’ll never find out if the client is even interested in what you’re trying to sell.
- Trying to push a product rather than provide solutions. Don’t be a living catalogue spouting information about the products. Clients won’t care how much you know if it is irrelevant to what they need. Instead, focus on providing solutions to their problems.
It’s obvious that many different selling mistakes can trip us up. So what are the best practices to use? Learn to watch for buying signals.
Three key buying signals indicate when someone is ready to purchase:
Agreement. If they agree with you a couple of times, they are seriously considering purchasing from you. Watch them for visual signs, including nodding, an interested facial expression, and affirmative verbal sounds. Keep in mind that 65% of population won’t give you much feedback because they’re passive. How do you find points of agreement? Ask questions and listen carefully to the response. This helps make sure you and the client are on the same page.
Questions. When potential buyers start asking detailed questions, they’re seriously considering the sale. It can feel threatening, because these questions often take the form of objections. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It shows they’re thinking seriously about your product. If you don’t know an answer, be transparent. Say you’ll find out and get back with them. Another positive aspect of objections is that they may reveal some other problem for which you can provide a solution. Granted, you may encounter people who just throw out bogus objections. When that happens, it’s okay to just close the book and walk away, especially if someone is being belligerent and belittling.
Asking about price. When someone asks about price, obviously they’re thinking about purchasing. This can be a scary moment, but don’t panic when the price question comes up, and don’t automatically start thinking of ways to lower prices. This is your chance to step up to the plate and swing for the home run. Lean in physically if you can, or at least look them in the eye. Show confidence and expertise, because those are two of the biggest factors that clients consider when looking to buy. Price is much lower on the list of their considerations. You have presented confidently, clearly, and briefly to a qualified client whose needs you understand because you listened to them. You’ve built rapport with them, so they know you, like you, and trust you. Now is your time to be bold and go for the close.
Become a student of sales so you don’t miss buying signals
The belief that people are born with a gift for sales is a myth. Anyone can learn to hone in on a target market, create a strong core story, qualify leads, and be a good listener. Outgoing people may seem to have an advantage, but being reserved can actually be better since quieter individuals are often naturally better at listening. If you’re serious about sharpening your sales skills, practice watching for buying signals: agreement, questions, and asking about price. You’ll soon experience higher levels of success!