As you go through the sales process, you will find that there are often multiple decision makers who analyze the information you or your salespeople provide to them. You and your sales team need to be aware of the verbal cues and body language of each decision maker—this indicates the decision maker’s progress in making the buying decision.
Have you ever observed a gifted salesperson in action? If so, then you know that effective salespeople know when to move a sale forward with a decision maker. While this is natural to some salespeople, it is also a learned art in knowing buying signals and asking the right questions.
A buying signal is a key element of any sale. Buying signals indicate that it is permissible to move the sales process forward. Buying signals also demonstrate a level of trust between the salesperson and the decision maker, who now sees the salesperson as a trusted advisor with recommendations.
Listed below are four criteria from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Atlanta, Georgia, to be aware of the next time you find yourself face-to-face with a decision maker when trying to make a sale:
1. Ask Key Business Questions, not ‘Are You Ready To Buy’ Questions — Asking a prospect a series of open-ended questions can provide you with a number of important answers. From identifying their needs to getting a prospect to talk about how they go about making a buying decision. The key is asking good questions.
2. Identify Buying Signals — Buying signals can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal buying signals include questions about specific products or the level of customization you offer. Examples of nonverbal indications include thoughtful perusal of your collateral material or leaning forward in the chair.
3. Interpret Buying Signals — An expert salesperson can not only recognize buying signals, but understands how to interpret them. Buying signals demonstrate the decision maker’s specific needs at this time. It is up to the salesperson to expertly guide the customer to make the best buying decision without overwhelming him or her. This requires a great deal of focus from the salesperson.
4. React To Buying Signals — By the time a decision maker is done seriously evaluating a product, an effective salesperson will have specific recommendations. A good salesperson will know whether to explore another avenue or suggest add-ons as well. Additionally, efficient salespeople head back to the office with proposal notes and follow up with a proposal as soon as possible.
Although these suggestions are specific to salespeople, what we have listed above can improve anyone’s communication skills. The best way to truly motivate a decision maker is to focus on providing a solution to their problem—a solution that saves them time and/or money. Understanding buying signals will help you know when it’s time to ask for a final commitment.
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