Once you’ve engaged a buyer experiencing pain associated with meaningful risk, it’s time to motivate them to take action.
Many buyers will admit to problems but resist taking action. Resist selling the dream—or the ROI—because the numbers often don’t strike buyers as realistic.
As humans we don’t always act on the potential of what could be, but instead react to pain and fear—that’s where constructive tension comes into play.
Find the pain, qualify the need, and then quantify the negative impact of not taking action on it, such as the amount of revenue lost. Present this to the buyer and ask for their thoughts: “How does that resonate with you?”
Tell a story anchored in numbers
Focusing on the reality will help you illustrate the negative impact of not taking action—both the impact on the buyer’s business and possibly on the buyer personally in their role. Just keep in mind that people don’t remember facts or data, but they remember stories. The best sales reps are able to tell a compelling story about the impact of taking action.
They do so by highlighting the value of their solution or feature to establish ROI. It starts by tailoring to the buyer’s situation, quantifies the result of deploying the solution, and underscores the opportunity cost of not doing so.
If you’re thinking you can’t pull this off, think again. As long as do your homework before you do the math, you’re prepared to present a compelling case for taking action. You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the prospect is motivated to take the next steps.
Every outcome is worthwhile
If the prospect agrees to the value of solving the problem, you’re off and running. If the prospect doesn’t agree there’s value in continuing the conversation, you’ve disqualified the opportunity, which is valuable in itself. Even if the prospect doesn’t agree there’s reason to act immediately, there may be a future opportunity.
In both cases, end the call by taking back control in a professional way. Say you will follow up in the future and, in the meantime, you’ll reach out to others in the buyer’s organization to see if there’s value in an engagement. You may just find that the prospect will say there might be more to explore since you’ve earned the credibility for a high-trust interaction.