Several sales people have been asking me how do I know when a customer is interested in my presentation, offer, or solution. Since this seems to be a common question, I thought I would give you a list of possible signs that customer or prospect is interested in what you have to offer.
The most important thing to remember is interest is a reflection of action commitments the customer makes or takes. In fact, these signs are all about what a prospect or customer does and not things you can do. You goal during each call is to get a action oriented next step “on the part of the customer” – you actions do not count.
Here is a list of 16 action steps a customer or prospect can take to move the sales process forward…
- Give their FedEx number if they want something shipped overnight.
- Write an email to other decision makers or influencers and copy you.
- Attend a meeting at your office
- Call your references about an implementation process
- Pay for a sample, seminar or test.
- Provide a list of key people, email addresses, address and direct phone numbers.
- Provide copies of critical information to your sales process.
- Share in the expenses for some activity or presentation. This could include renting an off-site location or paying for travel related expenses.
- Meet with you during off hours
- Offer you there cell phone number for anytime contact.
- Participate in a site or plant tour.
- Prepare plans or drawings – showing specific information needs.
- Sign up for a small order or agree to fund a prototype.
- Provide an introduction to a higher level officer at their company.
- Provide needed resources or budget allocations to move the sales process forward.
- Use your product in the purchase specifications.
There are 16 that are common in their use. There are others, some that are specific to what you sell and the industry to sell in. Remember, a customer or prospect should be willing to show interest and commit to certain action steps to move the sales process forward. After all, the cost of sales calls is increasing dramatically with the average sales call moving into thousands of dollars when travel is factored into the equation. Get the customer to show signs of interest to ensure you are making progress. If you are the only one doing anything – customer interest is not proven and you are probably wasting your time and energy.