How People Buy- Realization

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Have you ever wondered why some people buy and some don't? Why you can ‘nail' a presentation and still lose the sale? Why some prospect with obvious needs won't even talk to you? Why some people give a fast "yes" but you end up with a slow "no"?

It's not about you.

So much of traditional sales training has focused on what you, the salesperson do. If they say this, you respond with that; this is what you say and how you say it; you have to go through the steps of the sale, you have to close early and often, blah blah blah. This is all about you.

There is really only one entity that determines if and when a sale is made, it's your prospect. In this 4 part blog we'll explore the 4 steps all prospect go through before they buy anything from anybody.

Part One

Step 1: R- Realization. Have you ever talked with a potential customer- someone you know would be better off with your products or services than without- the only problem is... they don't know it! Until your prospect accepts the possibility they might do business with someone in your industry within a reasonable period of time (it might even be you) the most powerful of presentations will fall on deaf ears.

Realization occurs when your potential client first understands that they are in fact a potential buyer of your products or services. Your job is to find them in realization, creatively get them there, or be around when they get there.

  • Strategy 1: Find prospects in realization. This is what traditional prospecting is designed to do. You keep beatin' the streets, smilin' and dialin' until you find someone who is at this point of realization and is willing to talk to you. While it is true sales is a numbers game, it's not just quantity, but quality of activity that counts. If someone is not yet at the point of realization, you have 2 choices:  move on or:
  • Strategy 2: Creative door-openers. One of the questions your prospects are unconsciously asking themselves is, "Why should I talk to you right now?" You must find ways to creatively answer this question. Look for excuses to call back your best prospects. Do your homework- research your best prospects and ask yourself, "If I were this person, what would get my attention?" Find people, places and things to creatively open the door for you.

  • People: Who do you know that can provide an introduction for you to your best prospects?
  • Places: There are people who will have coffee with you and not lunch, and vice-versa.
  •  There are people who will accept a golfing invitation who will never have you in their office. Think creatively as to what type of invitation your prospect might accept.
  • Things: I once secured an appointment with an elusive prospect after finding out he was from New Orleans. I sent a bottle of Tabasco sauce with a note saying "Some of the best things come from Louisiana- I'd like to meet you."

If you are unsuccessful at creatively opening the door you have 2 choices: move on or:

  • Strategy 3: Be around when your prospect realizes. When someone in your market has a need, do they think of you first, second, or not at all? Many of the best salespeople I know are also the best personal marketers I know.
  •  They stay on the "mind of the market" by developing and nurturing an identity in their market. When realization occurs, they are thought of, sought out, and given a shot at the business. Your personal marketing efforts should include several of the following personal marketing strategies:

  • Newsletters
  • Personal brochure
  • Direct mail
  • Networking meetings
  • Business associations
  • Referral groups
  • Speaking engagements
  • Writing articles
  • Social media
  • Blogging
  • Strategic alliances
  • Advertising
  • Charity work

Until realization occurs in the mind of your prospect, nothing will happen. Once they get there, they begin to move into step 2, E, the focus of next week's blog.

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