One important step on the road to an order is to gain commitment from your prospective customer. Without commitment, you are just ‘spinning your wheels’ waiting for something to happen.
There are many barriers to commitment:
Even though the buyer sitting opposite you is making a business purchase, they are still asking themselves ‘What’s in it for me? What happens if this goes wrong? What happens if it goes right? Am I better staying with the status quo and not rocking the boat?’
You can assuage these fears by providing examples of successful uses of your product/service. MAKE SURE that these are from comparable customers. There’s no point in using an example from a waste water treatment company to try and convince an equipment manufacturer to use you – where’s the connection?
‘Of course this sales person would say that about their product but can I believe them?’ One of the ways to overcome this lack of belief is to provide third-party evidence. That is, information that is independent from you and your company.
This can take many forms but the most obvious are:
- Customer reviews
- Articles/papers written by customers
- White papers
- Customer recommendations
- Independent comparisons
Most commonly expressed as ‘your price is too high’ which can be translated as ‘you haven’t shown me the value of your offer.’ Use careful questioning to uncover the mismatch between yours and your customer’s understanding of value. Be sure to explore the impact on their company if nothing changes.
You could use a ‘return on investment’ (ROI) calculation to show the value of your offer. Be aware that these are increasingly losing credibility because they are generally created by the seller, not the buyer.
Better still is to use real examples from your existing customers. ‘Company A bought this product and realised x% improvement in production/y% decrease in costs/z% increase in profits.’ You are still making the claim but the buyer can check with Company A if they need further proof. Again, make sure that these examples are from comparable companies.
Contact us to explore ways in which you can move your prospects from Commitment to Order