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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

In learning why it is so important to have a selling system, you will also learn that the buyer (prospect) has a system of their own. When the two system’s start engaging one another, it becomes what we call the “Buyer-Seller Dance.” You have a choice to either take the lead in this dance and make the prospect a part of your plan or to become a part of theirs. We have identified four strategies that are very commonly used by buyer’s that can potentially put them in the position of leading this delicate dance.

1) Withholding Information: A prospect who is applying this strategy is trying to keep the salesperson in the dark. This prospect reveals little to nothing about his/her situation or intentions and will not talk about making any decisions on whether to buy your product. They will, however, have a lot of questions for you. They will ask for details, information and advice, then might rush you out the door. This is a defense mechanism used by prospects who are fearful of “pushy” salespeople who they believe, could manipulate the situation.

2) Gathering Information: Similarly to the first strategy, the second strategy of gathering information can put you, the salesperson, in the position of becoming an unpaid consultant. In this strategy, even though the prospect does not trust you, they may know that you do have something they want. It could be your product or service, but most of the time, it is your knowledge. They will ask you lots of questions, and if you’re not careful, you may end up giving away all your candy with nothing in return.

3) Commit to Nothing: As you may or may not already know, time kills deals. The third strategy prospects commonly use, does exactly that. A prospect who will not commit to anything will often prolong the sales process with reasons such as they need more information, someone else has to provide input, they need more time to look over things, etc. Over time, this can result in the distance in your relationship with your prospect, which can turn into NO relationship with your prospect.

4) Disappearing: Younger salespeople might recognize this strategy as “being ghosted.” In other words, the buyer disappears. After you have made initial contact, the prospect has gathered the information from you that they want, then they become unreachable. As a determined salesperson, your “be persistent” mentality kicks in, and you move into chase mode. You believe you should peruse this prospect until there is a clear, explicit “no” from them. You have spent all this time building a rapport with them, after all. When you can't seem to get a response after leaving voicemail after voicemail, or are unable to get past their assistant, it is best to look ahead and keep moving towards win-win deals with equal business stature.

Using this knowledge, you will better be able to quickly identify when a buyer is using any of these four strategies in their own buyer system. You can take back the lead in the buyer-seller dance, which will increase your chances of creating a winning business relationship for both you and your prospect.

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