What stops your prospects from making a decision? The final 2 P’s of Prospect Delay

We all have experienced the frustration of a prospect delaying a deal! Come on be honest, who hasn’t marked a lead in your CRM at 75% and started to think about how to spend the money or commission coming in before having our plans turned upside down by a delay of some sorts!

As Neil Young once said ‘the devil fools with the best laid plans’ and when you have worked so hard to try and win a prospect then it’s incredibly frustrating and one of the biggest bug bears of sales people and business owners everywhere!

I always tell the team here at InTouch that no deal exists until a prospect has signed the paperwork and paid the first bill and so if you’re still waiting to get your quotes signed then there are 4 main barriers that you need to overcome!

I believe that even the companies who have built up a solid TRACKFARE foundation still should handle 4 of the major reasons why prospects delay! I outlined within a blog and video a few weeks ago how Pain and Priority were 2 major factors in prospects making decisions and what you can do to overcome these challenges.

So, what are the final 2 reasons why prospects delay and what can you do to remove these obstacles and get your prospects signature on the dotted line?

The 3rd P is Passion. Are your prospects passionate about what you do or offer? A quick search on the word passion brings back a brilliant description. The dictionary describes passion as ‘A strong and barely controllable emotion’ and so ask yourself an honest question.

Is your prospect barely able to control their emotions when they think about you and your company?

I can assure you that very few people I have met have ever had uncontrollable emotions regarding sales software but I have met lots of people who have an intense desire and will to win or achieve monthly targets.

The passion of my prospects at InTouch is not about software but about what that software allows them to achieve and so are you focusing your sales time and effort on the functions of what you do or the outcomes you make happen?

Tapping into someone’s real passions is a skill and key communication requirement for any business owner/sales person looking to convert prospects to customers on a regular basis. It is not always an easy element to identify but through the right questioning and research you can see what your prospect is passionate about.

Let me give you an example which I think clearly demonstrates this. One of our customers is a great company called Laundry Efficiency who provide a range of products and services to Laundry owners all over the UK. Laundry Efficiency offer a product which reduces a typical Laundry’s water bill by some 80% per month and their energy bill by nearly 60% as well as delivering other savings.

They know that many of their prospects want to save money but they also know that for some laundry owners their passion is different. They engaged with a prospect a few weeks ago who liked the idea of what they offered but whose major passion was running a laundry that did as little damage as possible to the environment. That prospect’s passion was making an environmental difference in their business and because they asked the right questions, listened to the prospect and then talked about the environmental outcomes they could achieve, the sale became very easy to confirm.

There was no need to ask for the business or to try complex closing techniques, the prospect said they wanted the product there and then. The product was going to save them money for sure but most importantly it tapped into their passion to make the world a better place and it meant the prospect was happy to sign the paperwork a few days later so meaning the guys at LE had secured another new piece of business.

If they had ignored this ‘passion’ and talked about money or other outcomes they achieve they would have probably gone into a cycle of ‘let me think about it’ which could have resulted in a few weeks of delay. They didn’t and it meant they converted a prospect and it’s a lesson for all of us.

If you ask the right questions and do the right research (search your prospect on Google or social media for example) you can see what areas they are passionate about so that you can link this back to your business. If they don’t share any of these details online, then when you engage with them, talk about the outcomes you achieve and whether these are outcomes they care about. You can normally judge from the responses you get whether this is something they feel passionate about or not.

If they do show passion and show that they care about one of the outcomes that you can achieve then use this within your communications and updates with them. Show them examples of how it is doing that now and maybe even connect them with similar like minded people. You will be amazed at the impact it can have and how they will also come to build a trust and like for you and what you do as a result.

If you do connect in this way with your prospect then it will also mean that you have built a good PERSONAL relationship with them and this is the final P in our 4P’s of prospect delay.

Tapping into a prospects real passion is a way to win business and ensure you prevent those frustrating delays but building a real connection and personal relationship with them is also vital if you are to win business when you want to.

Whilst technology plays a pivotal role in today’s modern business environment, I still believe that in most sales situations, the nature of the personal relationship is a key factor in the timing of the decision. People still buy from people and if you have developed a strong personal relationship with your prospect then it can have a key impact on the decisions they make and the timescale in which they make them.

I have had countless discussions with prospects who have decided to focus on my project ahead of something similar because of the connection I have built up with them. I am not suggesting that a prospect would buy without them having a need but I secured a customer last week because we shared a few jokes on the phone and within emails and their words to me were ‘I feel like we can do some great business together’. Would I have got those words from someone I had not engaged with on a personal level? The honest answer is no.

I make it a choice within my conversations with prospects to understand more about them. I listen to who they are, what they want to achieve and with the right type of questions I try to scratch beneath the surface and get to know them. I won’t ask inappropriate questions but I will try to find out if they have had a good weekend or been anywhere nice on holiday recently. I once asked this question to a prospect I spoke with and when he informed me that he had just been on a golfing holiday I was able to immediately ask him more questions about his game and golf in general. Within 5 minutes we were laughing about funny things that Golfers do and sharing experiences of other courses to try. We left the conversation with a clear agreement to speak again in a week’s time and on that call, he told me that he wanted to go ahead and work with us.

I am confident that he would have become a customer for us in time but whether we would have secured his business within that short timeframe I doubt. It was secured however as I had built a personal relationship and those conversations made him know he could trust me and what I had to say.

Building strong personal relationships with your prospects means that you can nudge your way up their priority list and get a step ahead of other companies that may want to work with them. It won’t be the only factor in that prospect deciding whether to work with you or not but if your product solves a pain point for them and is a priority for them then it will help you bring them over the line!

There you have it. The final 2P’s that I think cause prospects to delay working with you. I believe that there all 4 of our P’s (Pain, Priority, Passion and Personal) are vital elements to overcome if you are to win business on a regular basis. Address these points in addition to building strong TRACKFARE foundations and you are going to be celebrating at the end of each month or quarter!

Do you agree with me? Do you see these issues when you engage with your prospects? Are there other factors which get in the way of decisions being made? Let me know your thoughts and how you handle these challenges! Drop me a line at j.white@intouchcrm.com or maybe drop me a tweet https://twitter.com/jijwhite and let’s start up a conversation!

Wishing you continued sales success




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