5 Ways to Get Hesitant Customers to Decide

Peady’s Selling Engagement

In my last post we looked at ‘Analysis Paralysis’ and how it can affect sales professionals and slow down or even block progress. 

‘Analysis Paralysis’ can affect customers too. Sometimes they can be this close to approving your proposal or solution, but for whatever reason, you can’t quite get them over the line because they want to “think it over”, “look at other options” or “talk with my wife (or other decision maker)”. 

Welcome to this week’s post on sales and selling success.

5 ways to get a decision and avoid analysis paralysis

‘Analysis paralysis’ is frustrating but you need to find the best solution to help your customer make a decision.  Here’s 5 ways:

  1. Give them two options. Less is more and providing your customer with a number of options makes it harder to gain a decision. Do your research correctly and conduct an effective discovery meeting, you’ll know what to recommend. Provide a solution that meets the agreed budget and an alternative, one that’s a little more expensive.
  2. Demonstrate your social proof. We’re all social creatures by nature and most people trust what others say or do. If a prospect knows that similar customers love your product, they’ll perceive it as more valuable. Pull out your written testimonials or play videos of what satisfied customers say.
  3. Attempt to uncover the reason for a delay. Ask your customer to walk you through their reasoning. A simple, “what’s holding you back?” can get them to open up about their reservations. You could also ask what they see as the main benefits of working with you – sometimes as they speak the decision takes care of itself!
  4. Use the power of storytelling. You can’t beat a relevant case study from another customer with similar business challenges or opportunities. Sharing a relatable success story is more engaging than simply listing the benefits of your product.
  5. Create a ‘light’ or fun atmosphere. If going ahead with your recommendation looks like a hard decision, a delay is easy to justify. Get your customer excited about making a decision, the momentum builds, and the urgency will be there.

Peter Drucker’s take on this?
The ‘father’ of modern management, consultant and author said: “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision” 
Word of warning

It’s dangerous to always assume ‘Analysis Paralysis’ when a customer doesn’t want to buy! There are sometimes other factors – I can guarantee hesitation to proceed if any of the following are in play:

  • There is no rapport (or basic trust)
  • They are not the decision maker
  • You have not established available money (or budget) 
  • There is no agreed need or opportunity
  • No timeline or urgency has been found

A sale is always made!

Every time you meet with a customer a sale is always made. Either you sell the customer with a ‘yes’ or they sell you on a ‘no’. Your job is to motivate, engage and find the one thing that will turn their ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.

Until next week, good selling!

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]




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