One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a sales professional is to assume that your customer or client knows exactly what they want to buy to solve their problem. In most cases, the customer isn’t entirely sure of what product or service they want to purchase – and with the staggering amount of choices available these days, more often than not they will walk away feeling overwhelmed and empty-handed. This is known as choice paralysis.
Sales professionals can minimise this reaction by taking a leadership role in the conversation that gently guides the customer down the sales funnel to make a purchase that’s right for them. Read on to discover some ethical ways to help combat choice paralysis and help to simplify the buying process for customers.
How to Minimise Choice Paralysis for Customers
Studies show that the more choices a customer has, the less likely they will be to make a purchase as doubt takes over and they begin to fear that they will make the wrong choice.
By employing some ethical sales methods, you can help to narrow down the choices for them and present a number of insightful recommendations that are based on information gained through exploratory conversations. With less choices and a clear solution in front of them, customers are much more likely to make a purchase with confidence. Here are some top tips for getting the results you want to see:
Go From A Reactive Seller To A Prescriptive Seller
A reactive seller is a seller who takes a passive approach in the initial conversation and allows the customer to ask them all of the questions about a product or service. This is unhelpful for the customer as they more than likely won’t know the right questions to ask to get to the core of their problem.
Instead, you can go from a reactive seller to a prescriptive seller and sell with conviction. This means taking the lead and asking the customer questions that help you to identify and define exactly what their problem is and how it can be solved. Guide them through the sea of similar products and services and help them to evaluate each one so that they can easily choose one that meets their needs.
The business development process you adopt will ultimately depend on the size of your business and your business goals. Some of the most common types of business activities that may be carried out include:
- Project management
- Spotting growth opportunities
- Lead generation
- Managing strategic partnerships
- Ecosystem mapping
- Analysing data
Ask Good Questions
The key to defining your customer’s problem is to ask the right questions. By doing this, you will gain the information you need to understand what the problem is and what solutions you can offer to solve it. These discovery questions should happen in the initial conversation as you learn about your buyer’s behaviour. The best questions to ask are opinion-based questions, not fact-based ones, as people are shown to respond more favourably when asked about their views on a topic.
Carefully consider your questions before you ask them to ensure that you are inviting the customer to state their opinion. A good way to do this is to ask questions that start with, “Why do you think…”
Listen to the Customer’s Needs and Restrictions
The right questions are only helpful if you listen carefully to the buyer’s answers! Listening is an essential sales skill that is required so that you can provide recommendations that match your buyer’s needs. Their answers may even reveal hidden problems that they were not completely aware of, giving you a fantastic opportunity to define it for them and offer a solution. By listening, you will also forge a deeper connection with the buyer that encourages them to share information more openly with you.
The best way to listen is to not speak while the buyer is talking. This sounds easy, but it isn’t always an easy thing! Be patient and let them finish what they want to say before you respond. Eye contact and nodding is crucial while listening as it indicates that you are actively engaged in the conversation. You should also follow up with some good questions that encourage the customer to expand upon the topic and reveal more information.
By asking the right questions and listening to the answers, you should have enough information to be able to remove some of the options for the buyer that don’t suit their needs. This is where understanding their restrictions is also important as it helps to easily eliminate any unsuitable options that don’t align with their situation. With less choices on the table, the customer can see more clearly and, with your guidance, can make a decision that works for them.
Choose Your Next Steps Wisely
End your conversation with some high-value next steps that lead the customer further down the sales process towards a purchase. You can do this by taking charge of the conversation. Set out your potential next-step options, such as a second discovery call or asking the buyer to provide more information for an analysis. Keep the choices simple – less is more. You can recommend what the best next-step would be and explain the benefit of it. It’s important that you never force the next step on the customer as this will trigger a defensive reaction that could lose you the sale.
Learn More Ethical Sales Methods with SWISH Sales Coaching
If you need more help to overcome the barrier of choice paralysis, our SWISH Sales Academy is the course for you. We cover this important topic, as well as many more, and provide the best ethical sales techniques required to achieve the sales outcome you need. You’ll have 24/7 access to a full liquid library containing hundreds of hours of content, including webinars, live weekly sessions with senior SWISH coaches, templates, videos and much more. Whether you want to train and upskill your sales team or improve your own sales skills through self-learning, this comprehensive course will give you everything you need to smash goals and succeed.
Take your sales efforts to the next level and read about our proven sales training, sales coaching, and sales courses. No matter if you are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast or anywhere in the world, we are able to assist in providing the most innovative ethical sales training. Get started today with the SWISH Sales Academy – contact us on 07 5531 6485 or join our sales training Facebook group.