[May I help You] Through the Buying Process?

How often have you found yourself in the middle of the buying cycle, and the process slows down, and the communication pattern shifts? Perhaps, all of the excitement that has built up to this point has damped the spirit of your team, simply because the process is not moving as fast as they would like, and the prospect has exceeded the time line they provided – in some cases demanded.

Sound familiar? I’m sure it does. So what can you do about it?

Simple – be smart!

This is where doing your homework on the front end of the cycle with your prospect will payoff. Examples of this include:

  • You qualified your prospect thoroughly before you began for a good business fit.
  • You asked pertinent questions and listened to their priorities, goals, and objectives. (hang on you will need these again).
  • You took the above data and feedback and matched your offering with their goals.
  • You separated your group from your competitor by offering alternative solutions to the objectives.
  • You received agreement, and/or were invited to move forward in the buying cycle.

The first impulse is to make a call to your best contact to see what is going on. In many cases that works well and is appropriate. But your best contact may be one of many involved in the decision, and can offer his perspective and minimal information.

Careful, this could translate into desperation, depending upon the personalities, and circumstances.

That’s a start, and a relief. But there is more to consider:

  • Is the project still a go?
  • Has there been internal changes with those involved?
  • Has their customer altered their priorities?
  • Has the funding been declined or altered?

In the majority of the cases you may never know the real cause for delay. Your best strategy is to go with what you know, with the understanding that as time draws closer, priorities often shift.

Suggestions:

  1. Remain calm and steadfast.
  2. Revisit their priorities, goals and objectives.
  3. Pull your team together, and create a ‘new’ solution or idea that will enhance suggestion #2.
  4. Reach out to the group, or key decision maker asking for an opportunity to share your new idea or solution.

My experience has taught me that taking this course of action enhances my consultative position, and will often reveal the nature of the delay.

Questions:

  1. How often are you faced with this scenario?
  2. Which tactics did you implement during the waiting period?
  3. What was your outcome?

To your success,
Andy

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