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Decision and Procrastination

Making decisions isn't easy for some people. What do you to help your customers overcome procrastination? - by Marcus
Making decisions isn't easy for some people. What do you to help your customers overcome procrastination?
That is not something I do.

People who procrastinate seldom get to be my prospects. Therefore, I have very few customers who procrastinate. - by JacquesWerth
Hello Marcus,
I agree with Jacques here. Maybe try to establish a different way to qualify your customers thus making sure that by the time it gets back to you you are ready to sell not aid in their procrastination. - by Snowboy
Hello Marcus,
I agree with Jacques here. Maybe try to establish a different way to qualify your customers thus making sure that by the time it gets back to you you are ready to sell not aid in their procrastination.
What would you say to a prospect who says I want to sleep on it? - by Marcus
What would you say to a prospect who says I want to sleep on it?
It almost never happens. That is handled when you set up the appointment.

One of our Rules of Engagement is that, at the end of the first meeting both parties will make a commitment to go forward or to terminate the purchasing process. That is agreed upon as a condition of setting the appointment.

Then, at the beginning of the appointment, both parties recommit in a review of the Rules of Engagement. - by JacquesWerth
Could you ask questions like:
"When would you like to start saving your company money?
"How many more times do you want to bring your car into the shop before you buy a new one?"
"How long does your equipment need to be down before it's brought to the attention of the higher ups?
"Who else do we need to invite into our conversation?"
"When you wake up, what do you think your decision will be?
"Right now, on a scale of 0-10, with zero being, "absolutely not" and ten being "I want it right now," where are you?"
"Maybe I haven't covered something that is important to you/your company?"
or right out ask, "What is holding you back today?" - by sallysellsseashells
Could you ask questions like:
"When would you like to start saving your company money?
"How many more times do you want to bring your car into the shop before you buy a new one?"
"How long does your equipment need to be down before it's brought to the attention of the higher ups?
"Who else do we need to invite into our conversation?"
"When you wake up, what do you think your decision will be?
"Right now, on a scale of 0-10, with zero being, "absolutely not" and ten being "I want it right now," where are you?"
"Maybe I haven't covered something that is important to you/your company?"
or right out ask, "What is holding you back today?"
All of those questions are good ones – if you are dealing with low probability prospects. But, why would anyone want to do that? - by JacquesWerth
Jacques, true, I don't think any sales person would want to deal with a low probability prospect. Sometimes, I think we do get stuck with them occasionally. I agree that it is ideal to pre-qualify a prospect before a sit down meeting takes place. In some industries where leads are fed, could a sales person get stuck with a low-probability prospect that he is expected to meet with?

I'm not sure what Marcus is selling or the level of selling of experience. Would an insurance sales person sometimes end up with a wishy-washy person? Could a sales person think that they pre-qualified a prospect only to find out that the person was a procrastinator? What would make a prospect high-probability? Can a high-probability prospect, in the end, become a low-probability prospect? - by sallysellsseashells
When I sold floor coverings in a retail setting I sure wish I would have always had qualified, ready-to-buy prospects and no wishy-washing, sitting-on-the-fence ones. But it never happened that way.

You will have customers who are what I call 'matter-of-fact' buyers, who come in and look at products, learn a little about them, and say "let's do it." (Don't you just love those people?) But it's hard in the retail industy to only work with qualified buyers. And I suspect it's hard in any sales field to only spend your valuable time with 'buyers.'

Then you have the customers who are so afraid you are going to 'sell' them something something they really don't want, and they are scared to death they will make a big mistake. They come into your place of business with enough 'defense' to stop a good football running back.

But the fact they actually walked into your business means they need and want what you have to offer. If they didn't they wouldn't be there. It's your job to displace these fears by asking tons of questions, attempting to relate to them on a personal basis, and convincing them you are the expert in your field who is concerned with helping them get exactly the right product/service for them.

In retail, I would say 60-70% of the prospects come in on the 'defense.' I know when I go in to buy something I don't know much about I've got my own 'defensive line' with me and I'm not going to let this salesperson win the 'game.'

But when they ask me a lot questions about my situation and needs and wants, talk to me as though I'm a friend, and don't go on the 'offense' with me, I become more relaxed and open to listen to them about what they think would work best for me. When they sincerely help me get what I need and want, I buy.

These principles must be 'adapted' to other fields to work. When I sold real estate I made sure I 'qualified' the prospects to know if they could even get a mortgage. If they couldn't you would be wasting your time unless you wanted to work with them on a long-term basis and help them clear their finances to be able to get a loan.

It's always nice to work with only 'qualified' prospects, but in the 'real world' that doesn't happen every day. I think you should create plans and hone your skills to work with both, depending on your industry and what level of success you are at... - by Dougd55
Jacques in the floor covering store example who from the store would work with the low probability prospects? - by Marcus
Jacques in the floor covering store example who from the store would work with the low probability prospects?
The responses by the high-probability salesman seemed to run counter to the idea of creating a positive customer experience. The customer's assessment of the salesman was, "Not very knowledgeable." Is this a by-product of HPS in a retail environment? - by Houston
The responses by the high-probability salesman seemed to run counter to the idea of creating a positive customer experience. The customer's assessment of the salesman was, "Not very knowledgeable." Is this a by-product of HPS in a retail environment?
The article clearly states that person that you referred to as the "customer," was the reporter who wrote the article. The saleman sensed that she was a phony.

The salesman in the article was the top salesperson in a very big, very busy, high-end retail store in New York City. Most of the people he spends time with are repeat customers and referrals.

Do you really think that many shoppers have that kind of reaction to him? - by JacquesWerth
The article clearly states that person that you referred to as the "customer," was the reporter who wrote the article. The saleman sensed that she was a phony.

The salesman in the article was the top salesperson in a very big, very busy, high-end retail store in New York City. Most of the people he spends time with are repeat customers and referrals.

Do you really think that many shoppers have that kind of reaction to him?
As far as the salesman knew the "reporter" was a customer and treated her as such. I have no reason to conclude that the salesman wasn't treating every low-probability customer he encountered the same way.

My point is that treating customers like that seemed to run counter to the idea of creating a positive customer experience.

Another point is that many consumers have often complained that some salespeople won't give you the time of day unless they think you're a buyer and the salesman in your story in my opinion fits that description. - by Houston
As far as the salesman knew the "reporter" was a customer and treated her as such. I have no reason to conclude that the salesman wasn't treating every low-probability customer he encountered the same way.

My point is that treating customers like that seemed to run counter to the idea of creating a positive customer experience.

Another point is that many consumers have often complained that some salespeople won't give you the time of day unless they think you're a buyer and the salesman in your story in my opinion fits that description.
It is not my story; it is a story about me and some salespeople that we observed and interacted with.
I was in that store in New York and I saw how he treated other customers and prospects.

However, eight years later, and 1000 miles away, you are sure that you know how he treats every low probability prospect.

It seems that you really need to be right about that. - by JacquesWerth
It is not my story; it is a story about me and some salespeople that we observed and interacted with.
I was in that store in New York and I saw how he treated other customers and prospects.

However, eight years later, and 1000 miles away, you are sure that you know how he treats every low probability prospect.

It seems that you really need to be right about that.
I don't need to be right. I read the story and gave my opinion. In your opinion how should a high-probability salesman in a retail environment handle shoppers who have no sense of what they want or are buyers down the road but want information today? - by Houston
In your opinion how should a high-probability salesman in a retail environment handle shoppers who have no sense of what they want or are buyers down the road but want information today?
The high probability salesperson probably wouldn't want to work with those kinds of buyers but then who from the store would work with the low probability prospects? Would you pass these on to a junior salesman? - by Marcus
The high probability salesperson probably wouldn't want to work with those kinds of buyers but then who from the store would work with the low probability prospects? Would you pass these on to a junior salesman?
You do exactly what the salesperson in the article did.
He suggested that the low probability prospect look at the racks of carpet samples. If she saw something she liked, then she should discuss it with one of the salespeople. He also showed her a rack of literature that she could take home with her.

Most salespeople can not get their minds around the fact that it seldom pays to attempt to convert a low probability prospect into a high probability prospect. You do not get paid for “educating” prospects. About 95% of the people who buy, that were educated by a salesperson, buy from a different salesperson. In a retail environment, she will most likely buy at a different store.

Most people buy in their own time for their own reasons, not because you “helped” them to buy. In the example above, if the person was really in the market for a new carpet, she would most likely visit one or two other stores and then come back to this one.

Before you argue that from a salesperson's perspective, think it through from the prospect's point of view. - by JacquesWerth
Most people buy in their own time for their own reasons, not because you “helped” them to buy. In the example above, if the person was really in the market for a new carpet, she would most likely visit one or two other stores and then come back to this one.
IMO if a shopper had a negative customer experience at the store the chances are good that unless there was an overiding factor involved they will not be coming back. The 'help' and 'education' has to come from somewhere. ;)
- by Houston
IMO if a shopper had a negative customer experience at the store the chances are good that unless there was an overiding factor involved they will not be coming back. The 'help' and 'education' has to come from somewhere. ;)
I agree.
Is it possible that your perception of "a negative customer experience" might not be the same as many other people.

Example:
A couple of years ago, on a Saturday, my wife and I went to Sears to look at large screen HD TVs. We were not ready to buy, yet. Their TV department was very busy and it was difficult to get a salesperson's attention. When we finally did, my wife asked, "Which is better, plazma or LCD?"

The salesman gave us a printed folder which explained the differences between the various types of systems and immediately went to talk to another prospect.

From there, we went to a high-end audio/visual electronics specialty dealer. That salesperson was very accommodating and seemed much more knowledgeable. He went into detail about the various choices and asked us a lot of qualifying questions. But, we still weren't ready to buy. We wanted to search the Web to see how independent sources rated the set that he recommended.

A week later, we went back to Sears and bought the TV that the high-end dealer recommended. But, not from the same Sears salesperson that we saw the first time. He was too busy writing up another customer's order.

That is what most often happens with low probability prospects, and there are sound psychological reasons for it. - by JacquesWerth
That is what most often happens with low probability prospects, and there are sound psychological reasons for it.
After reading your example I see we are on the same page. thmbp2;

Any ideas on why that happens with low probability prospects? - by Houston
That is not something I do.

People who procrastinate seldom get to be my prospects. Therefore, I have very few customers who procrastinate.
An excellent response, Jacques. As salespeople, we get to decide where to put our energies and time, and it only make sense to put it toward the prospects that are willing to go through the process with us. - by Skip Anderson
After reading your example I see we are on the same page. thmbp2;
Any ideas on why that happens with low probability prospects?
What's the Difference?
Low Probability Prospects vs. High Probability Prospects

We need to make a distinction between low probability prospects (LPPs) and high probability prospects (HPPs).

LPPs are "interested," but is not sure what they will buy, if they will buy, or when they will buy. They want to gather information and advice. Most often, they want that information and advice free of charge or obligation. The are in the Attention, Interest and Desire part of their buying decision cycle.

In order to get free gather information and advice, they act like good prospects. However, they are very sensitive about being convinced and persuaded to buy before they are ready. Therefore, their defenses and sales resistance are at their peak. Even if the salesperson does not attempt to sell a LPP, they feel guilty, tense and suspicious. Therefore, they resent the salesperson because of they experience those feelings in his/her presence.

A HPP is ready, willing and able to buy now. Their primary concerns are whether they can trust and respect the salesperson, the company and the product’s manufacturer. They are in the Conviction and Action part of their buying decision cycle. Therefore, they are now willing and able to engage the salesperson who did not engage them before they were ready to buy. - by JacquesWerth
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