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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

The reasons you give a prospect to buy are rarely the reasons a prospect buys. In fact, a prospect sometimes buys in spite of your reasons. Our reasons for buying are a stock list of features that many times mean nothing to a prospect or they simply don’t care about them. Good salespeople discover what reasons a prospect has for buying and helps them understand why those reasons are valid. Allowing a prospect to give their reasons for buying lets you determine what is important to them and why they might want or need your product or service.

A common saying in sales is, “They wouldn’t be on the lot unless they were interested.” It’s true that if you are in front of a prospect they are interested in something about what you do. However, many salespeople assume that they are interested in buying simply because they are in front of them. They lay out all the features and benefits waiting for the one that causes the prospect to jump up and say, “I’ll take it.”

Unfortunately there are a lot of other reasons a prospect might be in front of you. A referral really talked you up and they felt obligated to see you, they want to learn how you operate to do something similar in house, or they want to get a quote to bring down their incumbent supplier. All of these things are reasons to see you that don’t signify buying. Coincidentally, they are also going to waste your time. The only way to ensure that you don’t get bogged down is to discover their reasons for buying. In the above three cases, there probably are none, you’ll discover that and move on.

Don’t get sucked into the idea that your reasons for buying will convince a prospect to buy-they won’t. The only time they do is when they happen to line up with a prospect’s reason to buy. That’s playing the odds, not selling. Discover the personal emotional reasons a prospect has for buying. If you can’t uncover those, you’ve probably uncovered a prospect that won’t buy.

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