Selling to Customers who Aren’t Ready to Buy (Not Now Customers!)
In an ideal world, every sales lead would turn into a sale. Our goal is eager prospects who move through our sales funnel without objections.
But, as you know, this is rarely the case.
A pre-qualified lead, someone who opts-in to your email list, may seem eager and ready to buy. Yet, they don’t always translate into a real-life sale.
In our quest to close sales, we will encounter many different types of customers. Some of which will demand more of your time, energy, and resources than others.
Instead of writing off these more challenging leads, here are some simple options to help you. Use this article to continue to qualify leads along the way.
Qualify, Qualify, Qualify
Never, ever forget that your time is important. Sales is not just about the money. The business of sales has to be a respectful transaction, where both parties feel valued.
A sales funnel and pre-qualification process (the email lead capture) exist for a reason. The qualification process is important. All leads should run through the qualification filter many times. Only when the lead has passed the qualification measurements should you sell to them.
Your time is important. You should not deal with “Not Now Buyers” until they have qualified themselves to be worthy of your time.
This means the lead should be in a position where they’re primed to make the sale. The majority of customers remain in the “fact finding” stage for quite awhile. Ask yourself, have I spent time emailing someone who is still learning more facts?
It’s important to understand that 50% of leads who opt-in to your lead list might qualify but not yet ready to buy.
To avoid time spent on leads who are still fact finding, write blog posts to common questions.
When leads are in the fact finding mode, it is far more efficient to send them to pre-recorded videos. Determine where this lead came from before talking to them about products they are not ready to buy.
When a lead is not yet qualified but stays on your email list, sending valuable information will nurture the relationship. When the lead qualifies you’ll know, because it won’t look like a lead anymore, but a sale.
The Eternal Questioner: “But What About…?”
Many times, your amazing capture page and valuable content just isn’t enough. Some customers ask more questions than others. They are not comfortable until they go over every scenario (again, and again, and again!)
If you are reading this article, there is a chance you know this type of customer. They want to gather as much information as possible before making a sale, no matter how small the price.
To handle these customers, provide as much information up front as possible. Make sure your product descriptions, web pages, and videos are thorough and accurate. Provide easy access FAQs, forums, and blog posts that address potential inquiries and concerns.
I encourage you to always have social proof examples on hand to email. Social proof shows that customers trust you, the “Eternal Questioner” customers love social proof!
These types of customers will want to know how your product compares to the competition as well. As soon as a prospect starts asking about the competition, slow down.
Provide the best details about your product, but never bash the competition. By reiterating the best benefits of your product, you let your product speak for itself.
Why would I tell you to slow down when the customer starts talking about the competition? They are qualifying themselves at this moment as NOT ready to buy.
So you must slow down, back away and never appear desperate. Remember, you waste time by pushing an unqualified lead. Give the customer time to research the other options out there.
Give Them Value
Some “Not Now” customers will tell you that the price is what keeps them from buying. This is your opportunity to explain why your product costs what it does.
Focus on the benefits and perks they’ll enjoy by investing in your product. Chances are high that the customer doesn’t believe the product has any real value to them.
This is when your social proof and reminding them of the problems your product solves are most useful.
Focus on the consequences of them not buying. They will continue to suffer with their problems etc. don’t be afraid to address the issue head on. It is better to point this out early and have the lead qualify themselves as a buyer or not. Remember, if they do not understand the need for it in their life, they are never going to buy it.
Make It Easy to Give You Money!
A majority of “Not Now” customers do not buy because they are not internet savvy. If this is the only way to buy, they will find it too difficult and you end up missing the sale. You will encounter customers who get upset if it is difficult to talk to you or to buy. Always keep a secondary means of communication easy to find on your business card or website.
Streamline every piece of sales material you put out there. Your blog / website should have an easy to find the BUY button. Email communication should be easy going. When a lead qualifies themselves, offer a simple link that takes them to the exact ‘buy’ page.
If phone ordering is involved, have one easy-to-find phone number to place an order with you.
Some customers love to connect in real time, especially if they have a question. Live chat or video chat options avoid frustration. Frustration is a main reason customers will abandon their online shopping cart before checkout.
Did you know 38% of customers make a sale based on a live chat session? (Source: econsultancy.com) Make sure you have a clear “Contact Me” option. If you do not, it is the costliest mistake you will ever make.
Be Firm, Honest, Respectful
Do you remember how this article started? Your time is important.
It is a smart and respectful business practice to accommodate all requests. But you will have “Not Now” customers that want to take all your time and dictate every movement of the sale.
Whether its price, payment, or deliverability, make sure they know which elements are non-negotiable.
If the client has pre-qualified to make the sale, he or she will accept the terms of the sale, no matter what.
Beware of the client who isn’t interested in your time and is trying to get as much out of you as possible. It is better to pause the sale and wait until they qualify themselves. The time you spend with a “Not Now” customer could instead go to 10 people who are ready to buy NOW.
Guide the Customer to their “Yes” Decision
Another example of the “Not Now” customer, is the indecisive customer. These are people who are hesitant by nature and are never sure if their decision is a good one.
Provide relevant information, benefits, and answers to their questions through video or pre-drafted emails. Ask the customer to determine whether there’s a genuine enthusiasm to buy. Ask them if they see the need for the product in their life.
These questions force the prospect to make some kind of decision. These questions get the ball rolling. In the end, the indecisive answer gets the same results as a “no.”
Bottom line, know when to walk away. Recognize customers who will forever more stay in the hesitant mindset.
You are the Expert
Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that you are at the mercy of your customers’ whims.
In reality, many of your customers are ready to receive your expert support and want help. They are busy and would appreciate instruction with your product.
Valuable products that solve problems are important to your prospects. So is their time; this means they need you to help them understand what fits their needs and fast.
No two customers are alike. When a customer has qualified themselves that they are ready to buy, they might be one of two customers. Easy to work with, or in need of more education and guidance.
Keep on hand articles or blog posts to send to customers who want to feel like they made a good decision.
Get these best practices down cold and you will see customers become repeat business. Especially customers who like getting continued education from you. Stay on top of your industry trends, make current videos and blog posts. These actions enable customers to pre-qualify themselves. Then they contact you when they are ready to buy!