Several times when coaching my sales clients, I get this common question – “How do you know when a customer is ready to buy?”
This question opens the door to when does a b2b sales person need to ask for the business or to gain a commitment from the customer. I know some of you are thinking this is about closing the sale. Well, I believe you ask for the business in simple ways – you do not need 101 ways to close a sales in b2b selling.
What you do need is a keen eye for the buying signals from your customer. This offers you the opportunity to check for agreement and gain a commitment for the next step of the sales process – which could be just asking for the business.
So here are four common buying signals for you to master as a b2b sales person.
Four Buying Signals from Customers
- Non-Verbal Signals
The combination of body language and positive energy levels is a strong indicator of someone who wants to buy. When the customer leans forward, nodding their head and smiling more, you have some one who is ready to buy. Also, if the words they are using are positive, with strong agreement with your points, and they use positive emotion laced words like “this is great, I can see this working for us, or wow, this will make our life so much simpler!” They are ready for you to ask them to buy. Use a trial close technique or something simple like “Are you ready to start?”
- Questions and Comments
The key here is to look for detailed questions relative to implementation. “When could we get this in our warehouse?” or “Can we get the barcode on the packaging or just the shipping boxes?” These types of questions indicate your decision maker has decided to buy and is now dealing with the implementation details necessary in their mind for the deal to close. Detail questions are a very good sign when focused upon implementation or start-up details.
- Certain Types of Detail Objections
Now this is different from the above detailed questions since it is usually focused on looking for differences between your product and either their existing products or a competitor’s product. Again, the buyer is showing a higher level of interest in your solution, yet is looking for facts or logic to support their decision. Make sure you have asked questions to determine exactly what features or details are important to the decision maker. This allows you to focus upon the most important desired features on the mind of the buyer.
- Haggling over Details
When the decision maker begins haggling over minor details, they are usually ready to buy. Again, this could be an exercise to show others how the buyer got a concession from you at the last minute. If it is not a material issue, then allow the buyer to get the glory. The key here is to understand negotiation techniques including all the little buyer techniques which are always coming up during the final stages of the sales process or buying process cycle. You need to have your position clearly identified in advance – including potential trade-offs as well as knowing your walk away deal breakers.
There you have today’s b2b sales tips on recognizing four buying signals. These are key signals telling you it is time to start asking for the business. Sales is a game where the winners and the superstars are always asking for the business. The saddest moments I have ever witnessed is when an excellent sales presentation is made, the buyer wants to buy, and the sales person “forgets” to ask for the business.
Study these four buying signals and make note of additional buying signals that may be unique to your industry. Always be prepared to recognize the buying signals and ask for the business. Sorry about the repetition, I really want to make sure you understand the importance of asking for the business!