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How To Shorten The Selling Cycle And Reduce Buying Stalls

By Doug Staneart

The main reason for buyer resistance and selling stalls boils down to one simple fact: the reasons for not buying are bigger to the prospect than the reason to buy.

If you sell an intangible product or service, it may be even tougher to close down a sale because your product or service is not something people can see, touch, or feel. So the reasons for your prospects to buy have to be vivid, logical, and emotional. There has to be a reason for them to buy NOW, or they"ll put off making the decision until later.

When you sit down with a prospect, ask a lot of questions about the prospect related to your product or service to get the person to tell you what is important in his/her life.

If you are selling a tangible product, you might ask questions like the following:

  • What do you like most about your current product?

  • What do you like least?

  • If you could change anything about the product you have now, what would it be?

  • Has any needs changed hat makes buying a new product different than the last time you bought (bigger family, etc.)?

  • Why do you want to buy a new product?

If you are selling an intangible product, then questions like the following might be more helpful?

  • At this point in your family/career, are you more concerned with getting ahead, security, planning for the future, creating a legacy, being esteemed by other, etc.?

  • Is that different from what your focus was two years ago? Five years ago? Ten years ago?

  • Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

  • What kinds of things have to be put in place to in order for you to accomplish what you have planned?

The answer to these and other questions may help you determine what is most important to your prospect. Now, just look to see what types of products/services you supply that can help the prospect get what he/she wants.

For instance, if you sell insurance, you have to realize that NO ONE wants insurance, but they may want the things that insurance provides like security. Or if you sell real estate or cars, the car or house may not be nearly as important to the prospect as the status that each may provide. So if during the questioning period, you find out that your prospect is most concerned about security for his/her family, then you'll show the prospect how the policy you sell will give the family security, or the house you have in mind is resistant to forces of nature, or the car you sell just won Motor Trend's safety award.

If you have a personal example of a sale you've made in the past that was able to get the thing that your new prospect wants by buying from you, then by all means, tell the new prospect about this success. Be specific. Use proper names, time, and location, and your prospect will begin to picture himself/herself having received that benefit as well.

During the close, give them options like, 1) buy this now, 2) wait a year, 3) wait five years, 4) wait ten years, etc. Shem how much they will miss out on if they wait (higher premiums, less return.) Show what might happen if circumstances change between now and the time they buy.

Give them options, and they will probably choose to buy now.

Copyright 2005 Doug Staneart

About The Author

Doug Staneart,, is CEO of The Leader's Institute,, specializing in sales training, public speaking, and team building training for individuals and groups. He can be reached toll-free at 1-800-872-7830.


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