Recognizing Buying Signals to Make More Sales
Surprising as it may seem, a high percentage of sales every year are lost by salespeople who don’t know when to close. In fact, knowing when to close may be as, if not more, important than knowing how to close.
On today’s show discover:
- … the biggest mistakes salespeople make when it comes to buying signals;
- … how to increase your awareness;
- … and how to react when you get a buying signal from your customer.
If you’ve ever watched an infomercial on TV and NOT called…you understand buying signals. Why didn’t you call? Well, you probably weren’t interested in buying. So flip that around and you see that one of the very first buying signals you get from your customer is that they called or came in to your store.
Now, while you’re interacting with your customer she’ll start to consider buying from you. She won’t come right out and tell you, in fact, a lot of times it’s subconscious but she’ll start giving you buying signals (usually in the form of statements or questions). Your ability to recognize and respond appropriately to these buying signals can give you a huge advantage and help you know when to close.
So how do you spot these buying signals? Well, first consider that any time your customer is asking you a question it means there is some interest. Otherwise, there would be no reason to ask the question.
Here are some examples:
“Ok, so who would I call if I needed some help while I’m using your product?”
“How long does delivery take?”
Another strong buying signal is when a customer asks to repeat something you just said or wants more details about it. This indicates you’ve touched on something that’s really important to them, something you may want to emphasize in your benefits presentation.
If your customer is making positive statements and saying things like:
- “Really? I had no idea it could do that too” or
- “That sounds like it would work really well for me”
She’s giving you some pretty strong signals.
Mistakes Salespeople Make when it comes to Buying signals
Missing them all together
If you’re not listening closely and really focusing on the meaning behind what your customer’s saying you can miss them. Get in the habit of thinking about buying signals right at the beginning of your shift. Raising your awareness reduces the chance you’ll miss one.
Misinterpreting the buying signal as an Objection
Believe it or not even objections are buying signals. They’re really just the customer saying “I’m interested except for this one thing…” and in those cases it’s appropriate to follow your rebuttal process.
However, sometimes salespeople mistake a buying signal for an objection and in that case using a rebuttal process can really “derail your sale.”
For example if a salesperson mistook this buying signal:
“so who would I call if I needed some help while I’m using your product?”
For an objection that might say something like this:
“I understand what you’re saying, but we’re so confident you’re going to love the product we back it with our 30 day money back guarantee, if you needed to take advantage of that you would just call the customer service department”
Moving too quickly to the close
As you know, there is an ART to this sales thing and a buying signal (even a really strong one) doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump right into the close. The vast majority of customers don’t like to feel pressured so you may need to ease into the close in most cases. Now if the timing feels right to you go for a trial close to gauge the customer’s level of interest.
A good trial close is something open ended like “How does everything sound to you so far?” An open ended question like this should give you a good idea whether the time is right to close or if your customer needs a little more information first.
Not Moving to the Close Fast Enough
Yes, I know this seems to contradict what I just said but there is a fine line. When you get an extremely strong buying signal like “Do you guys take American Express?” in most cases, depending on when this is asked in the process, you’ll want to say something like “yes we do and I can take down your number whenever you’re ready.”
Some salespeople miss really obvious buying signals like this, then answer the question and keep selling. Many times talking themselves right out of a sale.
How to Get Better With Buying Signals
First, at the start of your shift remind yourself to be on the look-out for them. Just being more aware will put you well ahead of the curve
Second, recognize that every customer who has either called on the phone or come into your store has already provided you with your first buying signal. If they weren’t interested they wouldn’t call.
Third, actively listen for the meaning behind what your customer is saying and ask yourself if it’s a statement or question someone who was interested in purchasing would say.
Finally, respond appropriately and know when to close using trial closes and other clues you pick up from your customer.
The most successful salespeople know how and when to close. They are very tuned-in to their customers and they are always on the look-out for subtle buying signals. Learning to recognize and react appropriately to the signals your customer is providing will help you close more sales too!
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