When customers feel forced to make a purchasing decision, they may respond by stalling; cutting off communication, and coming up with false objections.
When customers feel they have the room they need to make a decision, and believe you will respect their decision, they are honest and forthcoming with information.
Here is an effective three-step process for restarting a stalled sale.
1. Create a safe environment for customers to tell you the TRUTH,
Here is an example:
Sales Rep: I respect your commitment to make the best decision for your organization, regardless of the outcome. I also know that the closer a person is to making a final decision, the more important it is for them to get the information they need to move ahead.
2. Ask questions to find out where they stand on the decision at the moment.
Where do you stand in terms of moving ahead with this?
What are the criteria you will use to select the best solution?
How would you prioritize this list? (Read their words back to them.)
In what ways we discussed meet your criteria?
What needs to be added or changed to the solution we discussed in order to meet your needs?
What other options are you considering?
3. Ask questions to figure out the next steps in the customer’s decision making process.
- What needs to take place in order to bring closure to the situation?
- Where do we go from here?
- How have you handled it in the past when (describe circumstances, for example, the solution you think is best requires more than you have budgeted)?
- Assuming ____ is handled, what else needs to occur in order for us to move ahead?
4. Be willing to walk.
- Some customers can't say "no", but will NEVER say "yes". Cut your losses. Sometimes the best way to re-start a sale is to walk away and wait to see if they call you back.