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What Is Your Customer Thinking?

Ever wonder what's going on your customer's head? Turns out that customers -- the ones who are actually going to buy -- always go through five "decision-making" states. If the customer balks at any one of them, or the sales pro pushes for a decision before the previous decisions have been made, the result is almost always a lost sale. Here are the five decisions:

  • Decision #1: Do I want to do business with this particular sales professional?
  • Decision #2: Do I want to do business with the firm this sales professional represents?
  • Decision #3: Do I want and need the products and services this sales professional is offering?
  • Decision #4: Does the price and value of those products and services meet my expectations?
  • Decision #5: Is this the right time to make a decision to buy those products and service?
What's really valuable about this "inside information" is that it allows you to focus on the decision that the customer needs to make next, depending upon the current state of the sale. Not only will save yourself the wear and tear of working the wrong issues, your sales process is far more likely to end positively.

The above, by the way, is based upon a conversation with Duane Sparks, chairman of the training firm The Sales Board and author of the bestseller "Selling Your Price, How to escape the race to the bargain basement."
READERS: Anything missing here? Sparks' model seems intuitively correct to me, but I'm curious if there any exceptions.

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