Do you ever wonder where your prospects go when they say they will call you back and don’t?
Or when they promise that it is looking good for this month, then go into hiding?
Weird isn’t it?
You have met them a few times and presented and been social with them, and, and, and…., well…., it looks good.
You know they have a problem that you can fix? You know they have money?
What is taking so long?
They even like you. They share your interest in football. And you’re linked-in too. Maybe you even liked their photo on Facebook of them dressed up as a Devil at their wacky fancy dress ball.
You even sponsored him or her to do some fun run or another. Was it them or their son, well, whatever.
You’ve done a 30 hour proposal and they e-mailed back saying “it looks good.” See! Looks good – that’s a buying signal right there, surely.
So what is taking so long. The problem they have is costing them a small fortune not to fix ! Grrrr.
Is this where we tend to lose our patience and start believing all buyers are a cross between rude and stupid? Have they ready my proposal or not?!
How hard can it be, to get us in?
Where do you go when you are a buyer? When you ponder a decision are you thinking about the solution or the problem?
Well, buyers have to manage many issues before they can decide to buy something. And way before they are ready to be sold to in all honesty. In fact the last thing (literally) they needs is your solution.
Before a buyers purchases anything they have to deal with all their internal shenanigans regarding the problem – could their current supplier fix the issue for example. If not, then does anyone in their know a supplier they have worked with before? How will the other department heads and their teams respond to a new supplier coming in?
What happened last time a new supplier was bought in? What else is going on in their business, are they thinking of merging or being bought? Are they considering moving offices? How does marketing react if sales brings in a new solution that they aren’t okay with? Those two departments always agree on stuff, right?
This is where they go, they go to try and manage these issues and attempt to put criteria together to buy. If they can’t they won’t. No matter how charming you are or how much money they are pouring down the drain. Liked or not liked, thumbs up or down, children sponsored or not, they can’t buy, yet.
Until a buyer can mange all these internal shenanigans they can’t buy and you certainly can’t sell. Selling doesn’t cause buying! Just saying!
It’s not about your solution, you see. It’s about their problem and that problem is part of their system and culture. Until they are sure they can’t find a work around or solve it themselves they won’t buy anything. And the length of time it takes them to deal with all their specific internal shenanigans and get everyone committed to change is the length of the sales cycle.
Imagine if we could help them deal with all these issues and get all departments affected by the problem together before we sell solution. They have to do it anyway with or without us. Remember, this is where they go. What would this tell the buyer about us? Would we seem trustworthy and helpful, we know we can’t push our product they don’t know what they want (criteria) or if they can even buy yet. What would happen to the length of the sales cycle if we did this? Imagine if we stopped chasing prospects that will never be able to buy and concentrate on those we know we can help.