Don’t Just Sell: How To Make Customers Buy

How do you know if a prospect has any intention of buying? Columnist Steve Olenski discusses why you need to know the difference between simply selling to someone and making that person buy.

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Almost all businesses today say they want to focus on customers’ needs and delight them with great offerings in order to make them buy. However, only a handful of businesses in each industry successfully manage to make customers buy their products.

Most businesses just focus on selling their products. They fail to understand that a fine line exists between selling to someone and making someone buy.

Online selling is a different ball game — customers you target are almost the same, with similar tastes and buying decisions. However, how they are influenced differs in most cases.

Most salespeople, executives and entrepreneurs waste their time, money and energy trying to sell to people who don’t want to buy. They also fail to realize whether a person asking about their product is a real prospect or someone who is just collecting brochures and has no intention of buying.

So how do you know if the prospect is real? Let’s find out.

Scrutinizing The Prospect

  1. Affordability. Can the prospect afford your product? Ask them if they have a budget for your brand. If the prospect has no budget to buy your brand, consider it as a red flag. You should not waste your time on them. If they have a budget, request them to share it with you.
  2. Procurement authority. Is your prospect a procurement manager of a company? Does he or she have the authority to buy products? Ask your prospect if there is anyone else whose permission is required to make the purchase decision.
  3. Desire to buy. Is your prospect excited to buy your brand? Does your brand fulfill their need? How important is your product for them? Engage your prospect in conversation to dig out their desire. Look for cues in their verbal and nonverbal language.
  4. Suitability. Can the prospect be a suitable customer for your company? Do they fit with your business’s chemistry? Study their demographics to find out.
  5. Time frame. When does the prospect want to buy the product? If the prospect wants it urgently, you can easily close the deal. If they don’t know when they want the product, they may make you chase after them for months.

Remember, a sale and selling are two different things. A sale is about making customers buy your brand, but it is not very easy.

Customers today make very judicious decisions when it comes to buying a product or availing themselves of a service. They can access every bit of information about your product through online sources.

They have easy access to get recommendations from sources they know on their social networks. They hate to be forced into buying something, and they love to be enticed by things they give importance.

Therefore, it’s very important for you to determine factors that are part of the customer buying decision. The key is to first study the customer buying cycle instead of going straight to sell.

How To Make Customers Buy Your Brand

1. Get the prospect’s view via conversation.

Talking with customers is not so difficult these days, thanks to social media and the internet. You can now easily converse with potential customers to get a true picture of their needs, desires, budget and urgency for your product and their authority to make a purchase decision.

Do this as early as possible, because their needs and options can change quickly.

2. Craft your pitch based on the buying process.

After getting a true picture of your prospects, develop your sales pitch based on the steps they follow.

Consider the fact that your prospects would ask friends for recommendation, search the internet for reviews and consider your product’s environmental benefits. Now craft your plan to cover all these factors.

3. Make the sales process a combined effort.

Don’t task a single salesperson with executing the plan; instead go for a collaborative effort.

You can connect your support staff with prospects through online technologies. Make the prospects meet your marketing team and other executives. Make your prospects feel that if they buy your brand, they would become part of a great team that would always be available for after-sale support.

4. Study the buyer demographics.

Don’t ignore the buyer’s demographics. With today’s technology, you can easily perform a quick research on the prospects’ backgrounds, including their habits, goals and so on. If their demographics fit into your company’s philosophy, they’ll be in.

There is no foolproof method for turning your prospect into a loyal customer who willingly promotes your brand. The customer buying behavior can change pretty quickly.

But you still have to begin somewhere, and if you follow the steps and tips explained above, chances are you’ll be closer to making sales that will boost your company’s bottom line.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Steve Olenski

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