Has this happened to you?
You pre-qualify your prospect. You’ve got a meeting with the decision-maker. All that seems to stand between you a sale is demonstrating why your product is a perfect fit and closing the sale.
That ‘sure thing” sale was stopped dead in its tracks because your prospect decided to do nothing.
Now, assuming your solution was a strong fit, what could possibly have resulted in this outcome where nobody wins?
After all, both you and your prospect invested time in discussing whether or not your product or service solved the problem the prospect was experiencing.
What caused your prospect to rein in?
Although there could be many reasons that cause your prospect to put the brakes on, it usually boils down to one of these three:
- The perceived “risk” of taking action outweighs the anticipated benefits.
- The problem your solution solves isn’t causing your prospect enough pain.
- Your prospect has other problems that priority.
So what can you do?
1: Minimize the Risk of Change
Let’s face it: no one wants to make a mistake when making a buying decision. Risk starts to rear its head as the sales process moves toward a conclusion. As the final approval process comes into view, questions as to whether the proposed solution will actually solve the problem start popping into your prospect’s head. He knows if the solution doesn’t measure up, he’ll be in the spotlight as the one who made the decision.
This is a natural part of the decision making process but you need to anticipate it and develop a plan for reassuring the buyer that his investment is sound. Start thinking of ways to let your prospects know you have a proven process for helping them deal with the risk and challenge of change.
2: Your Prospect Isn’t Feeling the Pain
It’s your job to clearly show your prospect why staying with the status quo ‘costs’ far more than adopting your solution. And by cost, think money and other intangibles such as lost ground to competitors, strain on staff etc…
You need to help your prospects identify, calculate and articulate the painful and costly consequences of staying where they are and then, offer your product or service as a bridge to safety.
3: Make Sure the Problem is a Top Priority
You can do everything right, have a product or service that is a great fit for your prospect’s problem, have everyone backing you and STILL not get the business.
How come? Often, your prospect has higher priority issues.
It’s important to constantly be on the lookout for where the problem you’re looking to solve sits in your prospect’s business priorities. At some point, you need to be prepared to argue why the issue you’re focused on should take precedence over competing priorities.
In order to avoid the ‘do nothing’ decision, you need to ensure must ensure that not only do you have a problem-solution fit, but also that your prospect has the motivation and the ability to take action.
Your prospect MUST be convinced he needs to solve the problem you’re addressing.