Sales
Is Your Buyer Aware Enough To Buy?

by Bette Price, GMC

   Every buyer, consciously or unconsciously, goes through three stages of awareness before they'll consider buying from you.
   If your buyer has no awareness of you, your product or service, or your company, it takes an average of 10 ­ 12 impressions before they'll even think about doing business with you.
   If your buyer knows you, your products or service, or your company slightly, that average drops to 7 ­ 10 impressions.
   Even when your buyer is well aware of you, your products or services, or your company, it still takes an average of 4 ­ 7 impressions before they're ready to buy.
   Make you feel better about not closing that sale on the first two or three calls? It should. However, don't get too complaisant. The average sales person generally stops trying after three impressions. Persistence pays dividends. And, with 40% of the buyers, patience along with persistence is an absolute must if you want to close the sale. That's because research shows that 40% of American buyers take the slow and easy approach. They want to feel secure about the decisions they make and they feel safest with products and services that fit traditional needs. This same buying behavior is exhibited in the business to business sector as well. With all the services to choose from, merchants want to feel comfortable with a particular ISO or Acquirer before committing to buy.
   So, with the highest percentage of the buying public, count on taking time, providing lots of information, and, by all means, earn their trust and friendship. Going too fast or providing shallow answers to their questions will hinder the sale, if not lose it completely.
   How do you recognize this large percentage of buyers? Expect them to want to think about things; they need time to process the information. Note their slower paced speech and hesitancy to be too friendly early on. Give them time to think and never use hard sell techniques.
   Some 28% of your buyers will be congenial and expect you to be lively, interesting and innovative. They're less interested in details and like to hear about others who use your products or services‹especially if they recognize a well-known name. You'll want to share talk time with them without letting them do so much talking that they stray completely away from the sale. Be enthusiastic and by all means, allow some time for social talk. You'll recognize this buyer by their immediate friendly attitude. Don't mistake their friendliness for a quick sale, however. While they'll be much quicker to decide than the buyer who wants lots of details, pushing the sale too fast can reveal a less friendly side.
   Just 18% of your buyer population wants you to be brief, concise and very businesslike. Don't waste time with them. Give direct answers, emphasize results and the bottom line impact and ask their opinion. You'll recognize them by their quest for brevity and lack of interest in too many details.
   The final buyer represents a mere 14% of the population. But, if you encounter this buyer, you'd better be ready. Ready with "proof," facts, figures, appropriate research and ready to get additional details. This buyer wants proven products and services and won't be rushed into believing until you've taken time to bring enough facts into the discussion to convince them. You'll recognize this buyer by their constant quest for more information. They'll be highly suspicious of unproven promises and they won't have time for small talk. Expect to add anywhere from 4 to 6 impressions to this buyer which means you'll really need to be patient and persistent. But, when you have earned this buyer's trust and respect, loyalty and referrals will be yours.
   Take the time to identify your buyer's behavior and how it impacts their readiness. Apply the appropriate patience and persistence and you will turn some of those prospects you thought were lost, into prospects who really just need just a little more time to be ready for the sale.