As the potential sale point draws near in any major purchase, it’s likely that decision makers will have some concerns about, well, making a decision.
Few people can make major decisions involving significant expenditure where a poor outcome could have negative repercussions for the business with impunity.
Natural questions buyers ask themselves before they reach a verdict are:
Are we making the right decision?
Can these people implement successfully?
What if it doesn’t work?
Will we really get the promised return on our investment?
Often, the questions buyers ask themselves are not about your capability, but rather the implication of what will happen if your offer doesn’t meet their expectations.
Why do buyers question your proposal?
No matter who you are, when buying something, whether consciously or not, you’ll question your decision. Is this right for me? Can I find a better deal elsewhere? Do I even need this?
Obviously, if we buy the wrong shampoo - the risk is significantly lower than if a buyer signed off on working with a company that doesn’t gel with their team. Therefore, the questions buyers ask themselves are significantly more impactful than 'is this the right colour'?
Ultimately, they’re questioning themselves based on the risk of their decision. Will I be fired? Will we get a return on investment? Will this impress my boss?
The decision makers concerns can increase considerably if there are additional factors contributing to their perception of risk, such as:
The supplier is not well known to them, or is new in the market.
The technology being offered is new or relatively untried.
There has been negative publicity about the supplier or a recent implementation.
The implementation will be long and complex, with a high risk of disruption to the existing work-flow.
If any of the above issues apply to your organisation or solution, you could be in danger of losing business to safer, better known organisations unless you take steps to create confidence in your ability to successfully implement your solution.
Want to minimise any potential concerns? Read our 12-step plan to creating confidence in your solution.
How to address client concerns
Throughout the sales process, it’s vital to address the decision maker's potential concerns before they even actively question or address them.
Your sales team can achieve this through proving proof of your capability in three ways:
Case studies. This can help to reassure customers that all will be well if they adopt your solution by showing proof of your earlier successes. Supplying case studies and customer references can help decision makers to feel more comfortable about accepting a proposal.
Meeting existing clients. An even better way of providing proof is to arrange visits to successful implementations or meetings with existing clients so that prospective customers can see the results for themselves. This works as, although they’re your client, they will be able to attest to the quality work you have provided them.
Visit your site. It may also help in many cases if clients are invited to tour your own premises or production facilities. It may seem an obvious point, but nothing reassures people quite so much as seeing for themselves that you have the facilities and the people to deliver what you promise.
While it’s also important to answer their questions based on their risk at the end of the sales process, ultimately prevention is better than cure.
From our research, however, we found that late cycle concerns is an area neglected by many salespeople and few possess the skills to do it well. As a result, many sales are lost very late in the sales cycle, and it is still a lost sale no matter how close you came to winning it.
So, if you’re continually losing sales at the final hurdle, plan late stage questions into your sales strategy - it just might be where you’re going wrong.
Kill sales cycle concerns
Make buyers believe in your product and delivery from the beginning of the sales process. Learn how to create trust with potential clients by downloading our free guide - The 12 step plan to creating confidence in your solution.