Ask salespeople to come up with their biggest competitor, and they’ll probably list price-cutters as their number one. But that’s not it.
The real number one: indecision on the part of customers and prospects.
Indecision may take a long time to reveal itself, and it can strike unexpectedly at the very last moment of the sales cycle.
Internal and external business conditions
Many decision-makers who had no problem signing purchase orders in the past are now hesitant and indecisive because of internal and external business conditions.
They read promising economic indicators and are then turned off by lackluster data on job creation and home sales.
Salespeople who have the skill to demonstrate to prospects the necessity for taking action now are the key to overcoming indecision. They can also overcome indecision if they are credible and demonstrate knowledge of the customer’s business.
Salespeople who handle the “indecision” problem best create demand instead of responding to it. They understand that demand won’t be created by providing information about products and services the customer already has.
There are two basic rules for salespeople to remember when trying to create demand:
- Customers value what they say and their own conclusions more than what they are told by salespeople, and
- Customers value what they ask for more than what is offered to them by salespeople.
Delivering insights to customers in a way that creates value is another way to move them past the indecision stage.
Salespeople who overcome indecisiveness continually gather information about customers, such as:
- What changes are taking place?
- What problems are they facing?
- What internal changes are occurring?
If they don’t have current and up-to-the-minute answers to those questions, they’re in no position to overcome indecision.