Three questions you can ask to get your customers to buy, FASTER!

Do you know why some people buy with a real sense of urgency? You know the ones; they want it; they want it now? Quick sale! No problem!

Then there are others; you know they need your stuff, they could be benefitting from it right now if only they’d get a move on. Yet, they drag their feet and stall; they say they’re interested but don't commit. Of course some of these do buy eventually, but it all takes such a long time. 

How do you explain these slow coach buyers?

  • Internal procedure at their end?
  • Too many stakeholders?
  • Budget constraints?
  • Price too high?
  • Timing not right?


The real reason they don't buy

For me, the real reason they don’t buy from you quickly no matter how brilliant your offering is, is because they are just not hurting enough. 

They are not in enough pain, distress, call it what you will. People in pain buy quicker and are less price sensitive. They have a problem, it’s become urgent and they want it solved. These people are heaven sent! 


Why you have to make the sale

The challenge for you is that, when you meet a potential customer who is in pain or distress, you have to make the sale, because if you don’t your competitor will.

If your potential customer doesn’t buy from you, they’re still extremely likely to buy from someone else. And if you lose that sale to the competition, you could lose all the follow up sales too and that's very costly.

You risk the person who bought from the competition recommending them to their friends and network too; more sales gone begging. Concentrates the mind doesn’t it? 


So how do you find out how much distress a potential customer is really in?

In a B2B environment there are three levels of pain you need to remind your customers that they have. In B2C scenarios there are two levels (miss out the middle of the three levels of pain covered below and reword some of the example questions)

1st Level of Pain – Technical Pain

What trouble are they experiencing? You'll need to elicit statements which acknowledge the distress they are in. It has to be an area of distress that you have a solution for and good open questions will ascertain this.

Questions to elicit technical pain statements:

  1. What challenges are you currently facing with your IT support? 
  2. Tell me about the problems you’re experiencing with your wireless conection?

Use follow up open questions as required.

2nd Level of pain – Business impact of the pain.

Get them to relay the impact that this distress is having on the organisation, especially from a business/financial standpoint. Getting them to quantify the issue is crucial. What’s the financial cost of the problem? What else is it costing them?

Question to elicit business impact statements:

  1. What would you say the overall impact has been on your business?
  2. How has this impact affected your finance?


3rd Level of pain – Personal Impact of the Pain

This is usually ignored by the sales person and yet is crucial. Tactfully home in on what the overall personal and emotional impact is of the above. Lost sleep? Holiday interruptions? Working so late they are not getting to see their kids before bedtime? Who knows? But remember, if you can get your potential customer to associate into the personal impact of not buying from you, you’re much more likely to make that sale.

Questions to elicit personal impact statements:

  1. How important is this to you personally? 
  2. What makes this so important?


A painful lesson

Whether you sell B2B or B2C why not run some of your recent scenarios through this model? 

Running through this process with your distressed potential customers will help them associate into the true costs of not taking action i.e. buying from you would make for an even quicker sale than would have been the case. And it will make sure YOU get the sale and not your competitor.

It’s all about the psychology of selling!

Isn't this a great post! This is just scratching the surrface of the skills Leigh shares on our Business School sales module. Check it out!


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