The Phycology of Sales

Geoffrey X Lane

How to understand your client’s decision making process

If you’re interested in gaining a better understanding of the decision-making process behind a client’s choices after a sales presentation, you must consider the “Emotional-Factor.”

Before your client puts money on the line and says, “yes!” to your service or product, they typically make five decisions. Most have their basis in logic and are very thoughtful, and most firms include at least three people involved in the process to help lower the risk of emotional decision-making.

Below shows the process that most potential clients go through when making a business decision after a sales presentation, see if it matches your method.

1. Do I want to do business with this person?

The clients thinking: Can I trust him? Do I like her? Who is this person, really, what are they like under pressure? Will I be able to work with them over time?

2. Do I want to do business with them?

The clients thinking: What’s their reputation like? Are they credible? Do they deliver? Who have they worked with and what do they say about them?

3. Do we need these products and services?

The clients thinking: Is there a special problem that they can solve? Can they help us make our goal sooner? Will they give us an advantage in the marketplace?

4. Is the product/service good value?

The clients thinking: Will I get a good return on my investment? Is the price in line with similar services/products? Will this give us an advantage?

5. Do I need to buy now?

The clients thinking: Is the problem about to get bigger and overwhelm us? Is a vital opportunity about to slip away?

Business Presentation

These questions dominate every, “do I buy or not buy” conversation, especially when making a presentation to large group of decision makers. The audience makes the first and second decisions based upon the reputation of the presenter and the presenter’s firm.

Often that reputation is “borrowed” from a respected member of the group who are sponsoring the presentation. (” Our – – -, invited us to hear this guy speak.”) The actual presentation–if it’s a good one, will first define/clarify needs, then present a solution, and finally explain why this is the right time to buy.

Get It Right

In order to make a pitch effectively, you need to focus on presenting the information so they can make each decision in the proper order. If you try to get to quick decision that will naturally come’s later, you’ll end up losing it or delaying getting the contract. Trial closing usually means a ‘no’ later as it always feels like a hustle.

Can I Trust?

For example, if you start talking about problems and solutions to a group of people who don’t believe you’re a reputable person from a credible firm, you are wasting everybody’s time. The decision-makers don’t listen in fact they can’t, because until they answer this question “Can I trust this guy?” they are not ready to make a decision.

Your Reputation

The need to establish credibility (i.e., decisions No. 1 and 2) is why many presenters begin by introducing themselves and their companies. This is where references play an important part in establishing credibility. It’s very powerful if “your reputation precedes you,” so that the first two decisions are already made before you present. Often today a RTQ is used (request to qualify) to weed out those who cannot deliver.

If you’re presenting to a group of people, make certain that as many attendees as possible have “endorsed” your presence and that the invitation to the meeting includes the information that establishes trust and credibility.

It Really Matters

However, your behavior and personal presentation really matter! If you appear nervous, over bearing or arrogant you will lose the opportunity.

I know of one senior executive who likes to drop into the reception in shirt selves, just to observe how people are when they arrive, how do they treat his staff, what are their manners like. When I asked why,” well if it is going to be a long-term contract, it is like marriage. Without the love, will I be able to stand working with them”.

My point is, if all aspects of your service and product are very similar to your competitors (price, design aspects etc.) then how is the decision made ~ it is by likeability. It is a very quiet and subtle emotion, almost overlooked by most people. For if they cannot imagine working with you, they won’t ~ you lose.

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