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Customer Procrastination is a Lose-Lose Situation

I worked with a couple buyers lately who procrastinated on buying and lost out on the homes they thought they wanted. It's a lose-lose situation. They lose because they didn't get the home and I lose because I didn't get the sale. What advice do you have for getting procrastinators to take action? - by Thomas
Thomas, great question.

One of the keys is to develop agreement about what the goals are early on. For instance, after you've done a wants and needs analysis with your prospect, ask something like, "So if we find a home that will meet the five needs you described, will you be in a position to move forward with the purchase?"

If they hesitate, then you've got to figure out what the issues are (there's no reason to show them anything unless they have a good reason for not moving ahead). If they say "yes", you've just built sales momentum. Doing that type of thing repeatedly throughout a sales interaction makes it more difficult for the prospect to be strangled by status quo paralysis.

At least that's one idea for you, Thomas. - by Skip Anderson
Maybe they were just 'looking' to justify, staying in their existing home.

It doesn't sound like they had a need to move from their present home. - by Paulette Halpern
A definition of procrastination is: Procrastination is a type of behavior which is characterized by deferment of actions or tasks to a later time.

I look at sales people as 'change agents'. Their goal is to facilitate a prospect making a choice to use or buy something which they do not have (or are using) today.

With anything there needs to be a good reason (problem to be resolved, or fear of a problem that prospect wants to avoid) for the change to happen or nothing will occur.

An important part of a sales person role is to make sure, what the buying reasons are, how important they 'really are' and if they truly are that important, to get a committment up that if we find a solution that is fit, they will ACT.

If we don't learn enough about the WHY behind the WHAT they 'seem to be interested in' we can't blame anyone buy ourselves, if the prospect procrastinates, and then often just 'disappears' without even saying "Not Interested". - by Paulette Halpern
I worked with a couple buyers lately who procrastinated on buying and lost out on the homes they thought they wanted. It's a lose-lose situation. They lose because they didn't get the home and I lose because I didn't get the sale. What advice do you have for getting procrastinators to take action?
Actually, I kind of get a kick out of telling a be-back that the house that thet were after is no longer availible, it just adds credibility to the take-away close that I throw at them before they walk.

Assuming you've meet their wants and needs, and have found the perfect fit, got mini commitments throughout the sales process. and they tell you they want to go home and think about it:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the hardest part of my job is having to tell folks that the house that they wanted today is not availible tommorow. You said that you wanted a large house correct? Does this house meet your size requirments? Mrs. Smith one of the biggest issues you are having at your current house is that the kitchen is too small for family gatherings. Look at the size of this kitchen, your whole family could be doing cart-wheels in here while you are cooking, wouldn't you agree? Come over here to this stove, can't you imagine preparing Thanksgiving dinner on this stove for your whole family this year? Doesn't it make sense to take this home off the market today, so you and your family can start enjoying the benefits that they all deserve?

If you get a yes, proceed with the paperwork, if you get a no there is an objection that you haven't addresed yet.

Good luck.

~James - by Mr. Cesario
My suggestion when you encounter procrastination is to treat it like any other objection which means find out what is really going on. - by Liberty
Assuming you've meet their wants and needs, and have found the perfect fit, got mini commitments throughout the sales process. and they tell you they want to go home and think about it:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the hardest part of my job is having to tell folks that the house that they wanted today is not availible tommorow. You said that you wanted a large house correct? Does this house meet your size requirments? Mrs. Smith one of the biggest issues you are having at your current house is that the kitchen is too small for family gatherings. Look at the size of this kitchen, your whole family could be doing cart-wheels in here while you are cooking, wouldn't you agree? Come over here to this stove, can't you imagine preparing Thanksgiving dinner on this stove for your whole family this year? Doesn't it make sense to take this home off the market today, so you and your family can start enjoying the benefits that they all deserve?

~James
With this approach you sound like a 'typical pushy salesperson' that most people would start to walk away from even faster. - by Paulette Halpern
With this approach you sound like a 'typical pushy salesperson' that most people would start to walk away from even faster.
Please elaborate, I guess if it's not the " Sandler Way" than it's wrong. - by Mr. Cesario
My suggestion when you encounter procrastination is to treat it like any other objection which means find out what is really going on.
Procrastination IS resistance. Deal with it as such. Something is missing. Either you didn't probe adequately or the customer isn't forthcoming. - by Houston
Most people shy away from 'pushy salespeople'. If it works for you....that is all that matters.

If it doesn't, or if someone is uncomfortable doing it the way you do it, they won't be successful that way.

There are other approaches to take.

It is not a matter of right or wrong, but what will work to be successful. - by Paulette Halpern
The focus here should be why are they procrastinating. Many times this is because we have don't build enough value. Building the value of your product or service is crutial as every prospect is looking at your product or service in relation to the money that are being asked to part with to get it. If your product or service is more valuable then the money they are being asked to part with then they buy, if not then they don't move on the purchase and you hear things like, "I need to think about it."

Building value is vital to a sale, but how to do that is another post... - by Joeylean
What really is crucial is uncovering WHY the prospect is looking in the first place; and genuinely how important that reason is to them, so they will actually 'make a positive decision' and take action.

Here is a simplistic example.....every week, people look through the car ads. They have a perfectly good car, maybe a few years old in the garage...it works most of the time. Some people even go and 'test drive cars'...I know my husband does, not really 'in the market -- we have perfectly good cars in our garage. However, if we started to have mechanical problems, and one day we 'missed' a very important meeting because of automobile mechanical problems, and were afraid that would continue...our 'looking for a car would intensify'. If one day the mechanic, said "the car is beyond repair" and we were down to 'sharing one car'...we would be out 'buying a car that day'.

The value your product has is in 'direct proportion to the real need they have'. - by Paulette Halpern
Procrastination isn't an objection, it is a behavior...if the prospect doesn't want to take action, maybe he never intended to do anything other than 'be interested in looking'; and 'misleading the salesperson' on his level of interest.

If that is the case, then he accomplished what he wanted at the salespersons expense of his time and expertise. Prospects mislead salespeople all the time, and don't believe anything is wrong with that. Unless of course the prospect becomes comfortable and genuinely begins to trust the salesperson, so that the prospect see the salesperson as an advisor, verses someone just trying to make a sale.

It is important to fully uncover from the prospect not only what he may be looking to see and why it is important; it is also important to see if there is a true need and if he is prepared to make a decision IF he sees what fulfills his 'needs'. - by Paulette Halpern
This is going to sound silly however prior to being married to a wonderful lady a great sales job by moi by the way or snow job. depending on your perspective.
I used to take dates home shopping.It was kind of fun seeing homes and being shipped around then going for dinner and drinks talking about the afternoon.This was back in the late 70's and early 80's - by rich34232
Now to serious answers to the questions. When we purchased our first home. We had no idea of what we wanted, expected ,or needed. Our realtor was not much help. I was atheletic, and thoguht I wanted a two story. She never told us a two story may not be for us.Tired legs walking up stairs when exhausted or children falling down stairs. Both of these were found out by msitakes. We sold that home rather quickly.
Sit the client down go over expectations by both you and the clients.Your the professional give them the pros and cons to the home. The benefits of a two story over a ranch then the ranch over a two story,split or whatever the case be.
What does older community mean is it seniors or a community where the homes are 25 years or older.
The first meeting should be fact finding.My realtor test now, if I have to visit more than 3 homes I move to another realtor obviously they did not listen to what I wanted and they are trying to give me what they want.
If you are a realtor and really want success find 12 people who did not purchase from you. Find out why they did not buy from you? Why did they purchase from another realtor.
We can give all the advice we can from here. Every bit of information gathered here is subjective.
The hard core information as to why we are not successful is held by those who did not pruchase. We all have experienced failure. Those we did not sell purchased from another and if we really want to know why we ask the unsatisfied why - by rich34232
Thomas
Maybe it wasn't a lose - lose. There was obviously something that your customers weren't sure about, they just couldn't make their decision quick enough.
I would view a lose - lose situation as someone buying a property that didn't really suit them, because a pushy sales person forced them into it and maybe 'sweetened the deal'. Customer loses because they get poor value and the sales person loses because they lose the customer (longer term). Your outcome was 'no sale' which is hard to swallow i know, but at least you stand a chance of finding those customers a solution in the future.
You may want to take a look at the responses to the post 'handling the let me think about it objection' you may get some thoughts from there.
I'm sure that as a matter of course you'd keep in contact with these customers and try to source other suitable homes for them. - by marky
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