I am sure you know what buying-signals are. They are vitally important to us all when we’re trying to secure new sales.
These are the things that are supposed to tell us that our customers are ready to buy from us.
Therefore, wouldn’t it be brilliant if they just simply came with big bells ringing and neon lights flashing all around them? Just in case we miss them. Like I did the other week!
The thing with buying-signals is that they hardly EVER come wrapped with a gilt-edged ribbon saying YES, I WANT TO BUY on them. I mean, think about the last time you had a meeting with a customer and they said to you YES I WANT TO BUY WHAT YOU ARE SELLING, AND I WANT TO BUY IT NOW!
I can honestly say, I can’t remember (if ever) it happening to me. Yet I constantly find myself in meetings waiting for just that to happen. Well, something near to it, at least. How stupid am I?
Let me tell you exactly how stupid I am. Let me tell you about a meeting I had only a few days ago where I quite happily sat there, waiting for the gilt-edged YES (which obviously never happened!) when there were buying-signals all around me, smacking me in the face!
I was having a meeting with a software designer who I liked very much and thought he had a great product proposition. We had a coffee and discussed the biggest issues getting in the way of him selling more of his software solutions.
After discussion, he agreed he wasn’t as clear on who his target audience was as he thought he was, and could do with some help with that. Let me just run that past you again in case you missed it – he wasn’t sure of his target audience and could do with some help with that! Did you see that buying-signal? Of course you did – UNLIKE ME!
Ok, our chat continued. Another issue was that his web-site and literature focussed more on his services (the bit our customers don’t really care about) and nowhere nearly enough on the results he delivers (the bit our customers DO really care about) and he said he could do with some help with getting his messages right. Did you get that one? No problem! Me? Nope.
So far, I had missed 2 great big buying-signals. Surely I wasn’t going to be presented with another one that I would miss? Oh, yes I was.
He went on to tell me how he struggled at networking events, because he wasn’t sure about the right things to say, and that he could do with some help with that.
Now, you might be thinking I must have been sat there with ear-muffs on, given my lack of hearing. But to defend myself just a little, these buying-signals were surrounded by lots of other information and those 3 signs were picked out of an hour’s worth of chat.
The one thing I didn’t miss though was that at no time in our discussion did he say I WANT TO BUY YOUR SERVICES. What he did say was that he needed help. It might not have been quite as obvious as I have described (honestly) yet he wanted help with the issues he was facing.
Luckily for me, I salvaged the meeting at the last minute and told him I COULD HELP HIM with the issues he was facing. And he replied by asking me to send him details of how I could help.
So, the moral of this story? Don’t wait for a gilt-edged YES when you are meeting your customers, because that actual word might never get said. What will be there, however, are buying-signals (even if they are well-hidden) and it is them that you can close your sale around.