One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is to make the assumption that every prospect is ready to buy right now. As a result, salespeople feel that if they just ask the right questions, say the right things or make a compelling offer then they should be able to close the sale.
But what far too many salespeople do not understand is The Buy Line.
All prospects have what I call a “Buy Line.” The buy line goes from 0 to 100.
At zero, your prospect has no thoughts or plans to buy anything or no thoughts or plans to change providers.
At 100, your prospect is buying something or changing providers.
Studies have shown that approximately 15% of your potential prospects are what are known as “right now” buyers. Right now buyers are going to buy a product or service or change providers in the next 90 days.
That means that 85% of your potential prospects are “future buyers.” Future buyers are those that are going to buy a product or service or change providers somewhere between 90 days and 24 months from now.
The trap that far too many salespeople fall into is that they treat every prospect like a right now buyer. Instead of assuming that every prospect is a right now buyer, your challenge is to make certain that you know which category they fall into. Once you understand that, you can craft your conversation accordingly.
Obviously the questions and statements you make to right now buyers are far different than future buyer.
With right now buyers you need to understand what they need to see or hear so they will choose you.
With future buyers, you need to create a marketing plan that allows you to stay top of mind, so when they do become right now buyers, you are the obvious choice.
If you want to stand out from your competitors, become an expert at separating the right now buyers from the future buyers and treat each group accordingly.
Chris Carlson is a Sales Development Consultant in Bellevue, Washington. Chris brings 30 years of sales, sales management and sales coaching experience to The Sales Coach. He is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Unique Sales Wisdom.
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