We have been discussing buying signals loosely defined as – “cues given by
the buyer that they may be ready to commit”.
In a typical sales presentation where the seller has identified a key need
of the buyer, the buyer will give buying signals. This is great if our
salesperson is following a logical planned presentation process however in
the majority of presentations, in fact by study 51% (this is still a
majority!) there is no planned process. So what we end up with is fairly
random questions with buying signals here and there – the result for the
buyer is mixed feeling as to their exact needs and for the seller mixed
buying signals hence the reluctance to ask for the business.
A planned process helps both parties to get a clear idea of the need, if one
exists, to progress. For the buyer consistent buying signals create the
clarity and urgency to address the needs or opportunities and for the seller
it creates the confidence to present the best solution and ask for the
There are buying signals that many salespeople miss that are embedded much
earlier in the selling process. To catch them requires listening and
thinking about whom you are working with and what type of buyers they are.
Salespeople should listen to determine what the buying style of the prospect
actually is. Some people buy based on logic. Some people buy on emotion.
Some people buy on what they perceive to be the ultimate consensus, or just
plain politics, which is how they think the other people in the organization
will perceive their buying action. If you listen, those people will tell
you how you can sell them.
Buyer questions are good buying signals. Some examples are –
Questions about availability or time – “Are these in stock?…”
Questions about delivery – “How soon can someone be here?”…”How
much notice do I have to give you?”
Specific questions about rates, price, or statements about
affordability – “How much does this model cost?”.”What is the price of this
fax machine?”.”I don’t know if I can afford that model.”
Any questions or statements about money – “How much money would I
have to put down to get this?”
Positive questions about you or your business – “How long have you
been with the company?”.. “How long has your company been in business?”
Wanting something repeated – “What was that you said before about
financing?”.”Tell me about the.again”
Questions about productivity – “How many copies per month is this
machine rated for?”
Questions about quality, guarantee, or warranty – “How long is this
under warranty?”..”How long will this last?”
Questions about qualifications (yours or the companies) – “Can all
of your people answer questions on the phone?”
This is not the entire list but I’m sure you get the picture.
We will continue with the subject of closing in my next article.
Have a successful week!
Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Moss and
Quote of the Week:
A mediocre salesman tells
A good salesman explains
A superior salesman demonstrates
Great salesmen inspire buyers to see the benefits as their own