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Prospect's Level of Motivation to Act Now

In a large number of instances the objective of the salesperson is to make a sale and for that to happen the prospect has to want to take action now.

Some prospects are ready to take action when you meet them, others are only a nudge away. There is an entire spectrum of motivation levels.

If the salesperson has any hope of making a sale today that salesperson will need to discern the prospects level of motivation to act now and find a way to bridge the gap in mental state between where the prospect currently is and where the prospect needs to be (ie; red hot). Only when the prospect is motivated to act now will a sale happen.

With that said, which methods do you favor for bridging the gap? - by Seth
I have one method only. Explore with my client what his business is, how it functions, what his challenges are, his competition, etc. I then try to identify with him areas that our products and services have relevance and can provide solution, after which we will make recommendations and lastly, come to agreement that we have provided the right choices for our client.

Aloha... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
Seth, what you refer to as "bridging the gap" (an excellent metaphor in this case) is closely related to a popularly misunderstood concept of "assuming the sale." To amateurs, assuming the sale means trying to force-feed a result without sufficient evidence that the prospect is ready to fully commit.

What gets result (bridging the gap) is assuming the "ownership", something that requires participation by both buyer and seller. It's done by shifting the conversation into a projected immediate future that encompasses two scenarios: One--the facilitation procedure (getting started) for becoming an owner of product or user of services; two--the scene (word picture) of life after ownership.

Selling is largely story telling. "Bridging the gap" is taking the story to the immediate future of ownership or usership. - by Ace Coldiron
I have one method only. Explore with my client what his business is, how it functions, what his challenges are, his competition, etc. I then try to identify with him areas that our products and services have relevance and can provide solution, after which we will make recommendations and lastly, come to agreement that we have provided the right choices for our client.
Just a comment on your post. You're describing good selling, and it's obvious that you're effective. The process you describe certainly would put many prospects into a "level of motivation" (Seth's words) that would be your objective. But how is the "gap bridged?" What is the defining touch that gets their commitment on paper? (I'm avoiding the word "close" here purposely. Please honor that.) - by Ace Coldiron
With a smile....just say...."what would I have to do or say now to get you to say d'y'know what Mike . . . if you could (fill in the missing words) then I reckon we could go ahead.

This is the gap we are talking about I think.

We would then say something like....."so are you saying to me that If I could (whatever he said) then you would (go ahead)?

If he/she says yes on that basis I would go ahead....then you are in a great position to negotiate to something acceptable for both parties.

This is a bit 'old school' I know but I still maintain that a 'no' is far more preferable than a 'maybe'. - by helisell
This is a bit 'old school' I know but I still maintain that a 'no' is far more preferable than a 'maybe'.
Hardly old school. It's advanced and SO true...and sadly so inconsistent with what many salespeople act upon with poor results.

A no is far more preferable than a maybe. There--we've said it twice! - by Ace Coldiron
With a smile....just say...."what would I have to do or say now to get you to say d'y'know what Mike . . . if you could (fill in the missing words) then I reckon we could go ahead.

This is the gap we are talking about I think.

We would then say something like....."so are you saying to me that If I could (whatever he said) then you would (go ahead)?

If he/she says yes on that basis I would go ahead....then you are in a great position to negotiate to something acceptable for both parties.

This is a bit 'old school' I know but I still maintain that a 'no' is far more preferable than a 'maybe'.
That isn't what I had in mind but for how to bridge the gap but it definitely helps you better understand where the prospect is in the process.

Bridging the gap is Emotional. The customer has to WANT the product or service bad enough to act now. - by Seth
Just a comment on your post. You're describing good selling, and it's obvious that you're effective. The process you describe certainly would put many prospects into a "level of motivation" (Seth's words) that would be your objective. But how is the "gap bridged?" What is the defining touch that gets their commitment on paper? (I'm avoiding the word "close" here purposely. Please honor that.)
Dang.... ACE.... I've never really thought about it... generally I'm asking "so shall we do this...thmbp2; " in worksite sales, and if with a business owner and looking at say a life insurance program, it would almost always be a choice between plans with a sorta... "Ace, considering your desire to assure your children's education and to provide for the seamless transition of your business to your eldest son just coming into the business with additional funding to retain your key employees, we have three routes to accomplishing this that we've discussed earlier.

First we have the economy short term solution, that is term insurance with a Critical Illness Rider of $100,000 with an additional longterm CI policy of $500,000, for $6500 annually for 20 years.

A Combination Approach that serves the short term and the longer you survive allows the transition to permanent only insurance we can have your business pay for on your behalf for $22,000 a year till your age 65 and then $4500 a year thereafter.

Lastly, Ace, we have the most expensive option. This option is almost $40,000 a year but is the least expensive in the long run. It provides for increasing death benefits for your lifetime, substantial cash values from the start that are available to you on a guaranteed basis and a guaranteed payoff in 10 years, meaning on a guaranteed basis if you quit, you'll get all your money back. On a currently illustrated basis, that happens in year 6...

Another thing about the last option Ace is that you have choices built in that provide for extended term options, guaranteed paid up options and cash values that can be used for anything you would use cash for via loan, surrender, or scheduled withdrawals.

Which of these options or combinations should we schedule your physical for to make sure you qualify?

That would generally be my approach.... :)

Aloha... Tom shds; ;bg - by rattus58
Bridging the gap is Emotional.
In some cases but not all.

It's the Obvious action I strive for rather than the purely Emotional. It's somewhat related to the differences between the Unique Selling Selling Proposition, the Emotional Selling Proposition, and the Obvious Selling Proposition. I want the prospect to take the obvious step. - by Ace Coldiron
Another thing about the last option Ace is that you have choices built in that provide for extended term options, guaranteed paid up options and cash values that can be used for anything you would use cash for via loan, surrender, or scheduled withdrawals.

Which of these options or combinations should we schedule your physical for to make sure you qualify?
Nice.

In my work, and using your example, I would add the following question which, I'll highlight in bold:
Another thing about the last option Ace is that you have choices built in that provide for extended term options, guaranteed paid up options and cash values that can be used for anything you would use cash for via loan, surrender, or scheduled withdrawals.

Ace, have I explained it properly?

Which of these options or combinations should we schedule your physical for to make sure you qualify?
In almost all cases you will get an empathetic affirmative to that question, which is a beautiful segue for asking for a commitment through choice. - by Ace Coldiron
In some cases but not all.

It's the Obvious action I strive for rather than the purely Emotional. It's somewhat related to the differences between the Unique Selling Selling Proposition, the Emotional Selling Proposition, and the Obvious Selling Proposition. I want the prospect to take the obvious step.
The gap I was describing is purely emotional... it is "THE WANT". The prospect has to WANT to act now. - by Seth
The gap I was describing is purely emotional... it is "THE WANT". The prospect has to WANT to act now.
We all bridge different gaps, Seth.

What works for me works for me, and I've never posted a sales-related comment that was not founded on what has made me successful.

What I learned--well into my career--is that people act on the obvious quite often. When I learned that, I was able to build a better interview/presentation that resulted in a very high conversion ratio--higher than a more-than-satisfactory ratio of the past.

I went beyond USP to ESP and ultimately to OSP.

It's not for everybody any more than success in selling is for everybody. I encourage other serious salespeople to make learning a lifelong journey, and to realize that we can all open other doors to knowledge. It pay$ well.

Still learning. - by Ace Coldiron
What ever happened to just asking for the sale.I feel if things are going smooth that would ease the transition into giving the customer that nudge they need.lagh2; - by vladinati
What ever happened to just asking for the sale.I feel if things are going smooth that would ease the transition into giving the customer that nudge they need.lagh2;
If you encountered a prospect who had no desire, ice cold emotionally, for what you were selling and you "just ask for the sale" what do you think would be the outcome? - by Seth
Nice.

In my work, and using your example, I would add the following question which, I'll highlight in bold:
Another thing about the last option Ace is that you have choices built in that provide for extended term options, guaranteed paid up options and cash values that can be used for anything you would use cash for via loan, surrender, or scheduled withdrawals.
Ace, have I explained it properly?
Which of these options or combinations should we schedule your physical for to make sure you qualify?
In almost all cases you will get an empathetic affirmative to that question, which is a beautiful segue for asking for a commitment through choice.
That is a great suggestion. I frequently ask throughout my work and presentations the phrase "does this make sense or am I making sense?" and here would be a great place for it.

Thank you.

Much Aloha... Tom shds; - by rattus58
Well you got to warm them up.sometimes if you are intuitive and feel out the situation you should know when to sit back or pull the trigger. - by vladinati
Well you got to warm them up.sometimes if you are intuitive and feel out the situation you should know when to sit back or pull the trigger.
That is the topic of this discussion.

In a large number of instances the objective of the salesperson is to make a sale and for that to happen the prospect has to want to take action now.

Some prospects are ready to take action when you meet them, others are only a nudge away. There is an entire spectrum of motivation levels.

If the salesperson has any hope of making a sale today that salesperson will need to discern the prospects level of motivation to act now and find a way to bridge the gap in mental state between where the prospect currently is and where the prospect needs to be (ie; red hot). Only when the prospect is motivated to act now will a sale happen.

With that said, which methods do you favor for bridging the gap? - by Seth
If you encountered a prospect who had no desire, ice cold emotionally, for what you were selling and you "just ask for the sale" what do you think would be the outcome?
I hope this question is for everybody. I'll take a wild guess and say NO SALE.

How about some solid and specific examples, Seth, regarding what YOU would do and say in that situation. Sometimes we have to get by labeling and terminology and get to the nitty gritty. Rattus consistently provides real life examples. So do many others, including myself.

How about you? Isn't it time? - by Ace Coldiron
Rattus consistently provides real life examples. So do many others, including myself.

How about you? Isn't it time?
Surely you jest.

There are as many different reasons why a prospect would be ice cold emotionally to what your selling as there are people. Motivation is personal. Your job as a salesperson is to find out what the prospect is motivated to act now on and get buy-in from the prospect that your product or service is the option of choice.

If the prospect is not motivated to act now and you ask for the sale you can expect to walk out without a sale. You can sometimes fan the flame of a lesser desire into a full blown want (motivated to act) through different methods. For some people who only need a nudge an incentive to buy now may do the trick. For others, quantifying the problem - what is their personal cost(s) financially, emotionally, socially, etc. for not taking action now - may put them over the edge. - by Seth
Surely you jest.
Not at all.

How about some solid and specific examples, Seth, regarding what YOU would do and say in that situation. - by Ace Coldiron
How about some solid and specific examples, Seth, regarding what YOU would do and say in that situation.
The situation was... If you encountered a prospect who had no desire, ice cold emotionally, for what you were selling.

Example: You sell used boats in California and you cold call, in-person or phone it doesn't matter, private sellers who have advertised in BoatTrader.

SP: Hello, I'm calling about the boat for sale. Is it still available?

PR: Yes, we have a boat for sale. It's a 1998 Sea Ray Sundancer 54 Foot, w/800 Cats, guaranteed to be the cleanest, nicest used Sea Ray you have ever seen!

SP: Are you cooperating with Dealers?

PR: No! We're not interested. We're selling it ourselves.

SP: If I could find a qualified buyer willing to pay a price acceptable to you would you accept such an offer through my company?

PR: I'm not paying a commission. If you find someone who wants to pay my price and pay your fee bring them by but I'm not signing anything.

SP: Fine. It will take just a few minutes to see enough of your boat to tell potential buyers about it. May I do that now? (Assuming you're in-person on the dock)

Now that you have his attention and interest you can start your selling process. - by Seth
"If you find someone who wants to pay my price and pay your fee bring them by but I'm not signing anything."

SO, Seth...you honestly believe that person is acting on Emotional grounds rather than acting on Obvious grounds??

But here's a better question. Do you call that Selling? - by Ace Coldiron
"If you find someone who wants to pay my price and pay your fee bring them by but I'm not signing anything."

SO, Seth...you honestly believe that person is acting on Emotional grounds rather than acting on Obvious grounds??
Absolutely emotional. I would add that what is obvious to you might not be so obvious to someone else.

But here's a better question. Do you call that Selling?
Nope. That's cold calling. - by Seth
Absolutely emotional. I would add that what is obvious to you might not be so obvious to someone else.
Part of good selling, Seth, is the ability is to convey what is obvious to us. That is an objective and it always has been among the pros.

Back to the emotion thing. Which emotion is bridging the gap in your example? Love, hate, jealousy, resentment, empathy, sympathy...what? - by Ace Coldiron
Back to the emotion thing. Which emotion is bridging the gap in your example? Love, hate, jealousy, resentment, empathy, sympathy...what?
The gap wasn't bridged only a motivation prompted. The seller WANTS his boat sold. The salesman presented an option that was acceptable to the seller. - by Seth
The gap wasn't bridged only a motivation prompted. The seller WANTS his boat sold. The salesman presented an option that was acceptable to the seller.
That doesn't answer the question. You said "absolutely emotional."

WHICH emotion?

AGAIN, the seller made an OBVIOUS decision--in this case because there was no cost or risk.

I will be the first to admit that the Obvious Selling Proposition is further along the learning curve, but you're fettering on a point bordering on misinformation and unable to substantiate whatever it is you're talking about.

I really don't enjoy debates that much, but I do enjoy seeing good solid information and understanding on this site in the hope that newcomers who want to learn will gain from visiting. That's why I'm taking the time to challenge much of what you're posting.

You actually titled this thread "Selling Lesson #1". I only hope that new visitors discovering SalesPractice take that with a grain of salt. - by Ace Coldiron
That doesn't answer the question. You said "absolutely emotional."

WHICH emotion?
Yes, absolutely emotional because people buy for emotional satisfaction. Which emotion? Pick one, it doesn't matter except to the prospect. What matters is that people buy for emotional satisfaction.

AGAIN, the seller made an OBVIOUS decision--in this case because there was no cost or risk.
People buy because they WANT something. - by Seth
Yes, absolutely emotional because people buy for emotional satisfaction. Which emotion? Pick one, it doesn't matter except to the prospect. What matters is that people buy for emotional satisfaction.
Not only was their NO evidence of an emotion in your "example", there was also NO evidence of a sale. To make matters worse, YOU, who provided the example, can't even identify an emotional factor in your "example."

"It doesn't matter." you say.

YET...you actually posted on this thread the following: "Your job as a salesperson is to find out what the prospect is motivated to act now on and get buy-in from the prospect that your product or service is the option of choice."

Which is it? - by Ace Coldiron
Not only was their NO evidence of an emotion in your "example", there was also NO evidence of a sale. To make matters worse, YOU, who provided the example, can't even identify an emotional factor in your "example."

"It doesn't matter." you say.

YET...you actually posted on this thread the following: "Your job as a salesperson is to find out what the prospect is motivated to act now on and get buy-in from the prospect that your product or service is the option of choice."

Which is it?
It appears that you may not be following along with the discussion Ace.

First, you asked me to give an example of what I would say if I encountered a prospect who had no desire, ice cold emotionally, for what I was selling. I gave a solid and specific example of just that in cold calling format.

Next, you asked if I believe the prospect in my example was acting on emotional rather than obvious grounds. My reply was that it was absolutely emotional. You asked "which emotion" to which I replied, "Pick one, it doesn't matter except to the prospect. What matters is that people buy for emotional satisfaction." Discovering the specific motive isn't necessary or realistic during the interaction I posted. The boat owner WANTED (emotional) to sell his boat as demonstrated by his advertisement. The goal of the salesperson in a cold call is to gain the prospects attention and interest so that he or she can move forward into the selling process. My example demonstrated what that would look like.

You went to to write:
YET...you actually posted on this thread the following: "Your job as a salesperson is to find out what the prospect is motivated to act now on and get buy-in from the prospect that your product or service is the option of choice."

Which is it?
You are mixing apples with oranges. My example didn't require buy-in from the prospect that the product or service was the option of choice. My example only required that the salesperson get past the initial resistance and into the selling process. - by Seth
Yet a cold call isn't part of the sales process. - by rattus58
Yet a cold call isn't part of the sales process.
Cold calling isn't "selling". There is a difference. - by Seth
Cold calling isn't "selling". There is a difference.
You conveniently have left out any discussion how as to your position, cold calling isn't selling. Most of us who actually sell for a living disagree with you, especially when one has to overcome the "gatekeepers", establishing an appointment with a business owner, and even when calling a "cold number" in order to "qualify" a name into becoming a prospect, takes sales skills that MUST be employed.

To continue to say it's not a sales process is naive. To say a cold call is not part of the sales process and then go on to use your own example of a cold call as being a part of the sales process is ludicrous. "You are mixing apples with oranges. My example didn't require buy-in from the prospect that the product or service was the option of choice. My example only required that the salesperson get past the initial resistance and into the selling process" - by rattus58
You conveniently have left out any discussion how as to your position, cold calling isn't selling.
Nothing was conveniently left out. Follow the discussion please.

To continue to say it's not a sales process is naive. To say a cold call is not part of the sales process and then go on to use your own example of a cold call as being a part of the sales process is ludicrous.
Cold calling isn't "selling". Maybe you have a different definition of selling than I do. Why don't you post your definition of selling here: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-10553.html - by Seth
Nothing was conveniently left out. Follow the discussion please.

Cold calling isn't "selling". Maybe you have a different definition of selling than I do. Why don't you post your definition of selling here: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-10553.html
I have given countless example of why cold calling is part of the process and all you are offering is some dogged "it isn't selling". You haven't been able to counter my numerous example of why cold calling IS SELLING.

So... until you can cogently discuss this I suggest you quit this somewhat lame lament of yours that "cold calling isn't selling!" - by rattus58
I have given countless example of why cold calling is part of the process and all you are offering is some dogged "it isn't selling". You haven't been able to counter my numerous example of why cold calling IS SELLING.

So... until you can cogently discuss this I suggest you quit this somewhat lame lament of yours that "cold calling isn't selling!"
Selling to me is defined as "motivating a prospect to take action now".

Engaging the client, gaining acceptance and trust, understanding wants and needs, asking for the sale, eliminating resistance, etc. may be necessary to reach that objective but if the prospect is not motivated to take action now there will be no sale.

Effective cold calling only gets you into position to sell. msnwnk;

If you have your own definition of selling you can share it in this thread over here: http://www.salespractice.com/forums/t-10553.html - by Seth
I've heard it paraphrased that a sale is an offer and an acceptance.

A cold call is an offer to meet, and the appointment given is acceptance. - by rattus58
"When you get a man's attention, you know what you've done? You've done one of the most important things of all. It's the key. Why? The start of the sale is the interview. But the start of the interview is getting a man's attention. Unless you get his attention, you'll go no place." - Ben Feldman (World's Greatest Life Insurance Salesman) - by Seth
Seth... your problem is that you are too wrapped up into your own buy in. You've invested too much capital into this notion that the "sale" is the end result. You for some reason can't fathom that selling, persuasion, overcoming objections, overcoming stalls, trial closes, idea and commitment closes, agreements as to conditions, beliefs, and all have YOUR elements of a sale bound to them.

When you vote for me, is it a sale?
When you buy a knife, is it a sale?

I've recently followed a process that utilizes a series of commitment objectives. Success in each segment of those objectives, is ostensibly a sale, and act had been committed through the persuasion, intelligence, perception of one in interest of helping another. - by rattus58
Seth... your problem is that you are too wrapped up into your own buy in. You've invested too much capital into this notion that the "sale" is the end result. You for some reason can't fathom that selling, persuasion, overcoming objections, overcoming stalls, trial closes, idea and commitment closes, agreements as to conditions, beliefs, and all have YOUR elements of a sale bound to them.
Your posts indicate to me that you lack understanding of what I'm saying. I will take responsibility for not getting my message across clearly. - by Seth
Your posts indicate to me that you lack understanding of what I'm saying. I will take responsibility for not getting my message across clearly.

That is very kind of you. Thank you. I am then to send my therapy expenditures round to your loft is it? thmbp2;

Aloha.... shds; ;bg - by rattus58
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