Of course, buyers have a right to “think it over.” But once the decision maker has all your information, there’s no reason for a long delay, says sales guru Landy Chase.
Here are three key reasons salespeople run into delays in getting decisions, and strategies you can use to speed things up:
1. No decision maker involved
This common strategic mistake has the most negative impact. But there’s an easy fix. Ask your initial contact about their decision process.
If this person is not the decision maker, do not commit on pricing. Explain that you can’t provide pricing because you need input from the others involved in the decision first. Then ask for help in meeting these other people.
2. No negative consequences
If buyers don’t risk anything by delaying, what motivation do they have to act quickly? Look for ways to impose a negative consequence for waffling.
For example, “to guarantee shipping by ____, we need your commitment no later than ______.” Or, “We currently have dates available this month, but unless we get your go-ahead by ____, I cannot guarantee the availability of our staff.” Try it. It works.
3. No deadline established
Never leave a presentation without establishing a date for the decision to be made. Say, “How much time do you need to make your decision; would a week be adequate?” In most cases, the buyer will say, “Yes, a week is fine.”
Follow up with a thank-you note, in which you thank them for the courtesy of their time. But also include language like this: “Thanks for committing to make a decision by next week. I really appreciate it.”
Then make one follow-up call – in exactly seven days.
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