Every step of the sales process has gone smoothly – you’ve uncovered needs, presented the ideal solution, gotten agreement from the customer, and all seems good. The client even tells you they plan on buying. But then come the delays. Reason after reason for why they’re not taking the step of physically purchasing. Days turn into weeks, weeks to months, and your hair and sanity are both rapidly receding from frustration. What to do?
- Review everything that’s happened with fresh eyes.
Your first step should be to go over your interactions with the not-yet buyer again. Perhaps you missed something – either you didn’t create enough value or there’s a hidden objection you didn’t uncover. Maybe you didn’t provide enough information, or you gave enough value, but that value wasn’t quite clear to the client.
- Ask yourself if you created a sense of urgency.
Arguably the single biggest reason people don’t buy something despite intentions of doing so is the same reason why they don’t write that bestseller, take that trip, or eat at that restaurant. Inertia and the status quo are powerful forces and, in many cases, unless there’s sufficient urgency, things and people will stay in stasis. So re-examine your interactions again to see if you established urgency (Note: this does NOT mean browbeat or pressure the client).
- Calmly ask the buyer what’s really stopping them from buying now and ask them to be completely honest.
If your own introspective investigation turns up nothing or if you want to get confirmation that your findings are correct, ask the customer what’s stopping them from buying now and ask for them to be completely honest in their answer. You may even want to consider throwing out a couple add-on questions of possibilities you think it might be.
Taking this approach will also allow you to uncover hidden external factors that might be preventing the sale – such as a reluctant decision-maker or influencer who hasn’t yet been convinced or a change in the company’s financial situation necessitating a budget revisit.
- Once you’ve uncovered the cause, address it.
The clearing of the roadblock will of course depend on the obstacle’s composition. Not enough information or value? Provide that. Someone else blocking the deal? Reach out to them to address their concerns and secure their go-ahead.
If there’s no sense of urgency, then you’ll have to make a judgment call. If a legitimate scenario for urgency exists – for example, they need to have the solution implemented by the end of the fiscal year – then create a timeline and date they need to purchase by so that can happen. If there’s no legitimate scenario for urgency, then you might just need to be patient and continue to identify/remove the obstacles.
Hesitant and indecisive buyers can be frustrating, but in many cases there’s a specific cause. Discovering it and resolving it as we’ve outlined here can help the sales process back on track and bring it across the finish line.