30 years studying why people buy leads to new discoveries about closing the sale
30 years ago I started doing research on why people buy in the hopes of finding out what really goes on inside customer’s mind that affects closing the sale. This wasn’t academic or theoretical research.
I traveled with salespeople to observe what they were doing and how prospects responded. I interviewed prospects and customers to learn more about how they think. As a buyer, I’ve had over 3000 sales representatives call on me so I used that as another way to better understand what goes on inside the customers mind during the sales process.
By the early nineties, I had mapped out the customers’ buying process. These were the stages the customer went through as they traveled from no to yes. This was how the customer thought out a purchase that enabled salespeople to close the sale. When I taught this to salespeople, I noticed that their closing rate went up. They were closing more sales because they were paying attention to the prospect’s buying process instead of their sales process.
Why Salespeople Really Close The Sale
But that buying process didn’t explain why customers said yes or no, just how they made the journey from no to yes. Over the next twenty years, I kept digging deeper to find that elusive why that would explain how to close the sale. It turns out that the customer’s perceptions of value is the key.
When customers have a high perceived value for what is offered, they usually say yes. As those perceptions of value fall, they are more likely to say no. When you know what value a customer has placed on an offer, you can predict with a 95% degree of accuracy whether they will say yes or no….whether a salesperson will close the sale.
Closing The Sale Is About High Perceived Value
People buy because they have high perceived value. Closing the sale is about raising the customer’s perceptions of value as high as possible. That’s the ultimate answer as to why people buy. But knowing that doesn’t tell salespeople enough about what they can deliberately do to raise their customer’s perceptions of value to close the sale.
That led us to explore how customers figure out their perceptions of value. We wanted to know what customer value is, how customers assign a value to an offer and what causes that value to rise and fall. What we found resembled the customer’s buying process that we originally mapped out with some new findings that are the key to how high their value rises.
Close The Sale By Raising Perceived Value
When salespeople understand how customers figure out their perceptions of value and what causes it to rise and fall, they are aware of more things they can do that will raise their prospects perceptions of value. In addition, by seeing the role that perceived value plays in closing the sale, salespeople start paying close attention to anything their prospects and customers say or do that tells them how they value things. That alerts salespeople to potential areas where the value isn’t high enough so they can address these and raise the perceptions of value before asking for the order and hopefully before discussing price.
By focusing on perceived value and what affects it, salespeople spend more time doing those things that will get their customers to say yes, avoid assumptions which cost them sales and end up closing more sales. These new discoveries can help even experienced, trained, successful salespeople who are meeting and beating their quotas.
Currently, these discoveries are not included in any books or training programs outside of the speeches, seminars, training and consulting services offered by First Concepts Consultants, Inc. We hope to complete a book on this after enough sales forces have been exposed to these new discoveries to evaluate how this new information affects their closing rate. Yes, there is more to learn about closing the sale than most salespeople currently know. Salespeople close the sale by raising their customer’s perceptions of value.
Schedule a phone conversation with Don Shapiro, President of First Concepts Consultants, Inc., to answer your questions and explore how these new discoveries could boost your sales…even the sales of your experienced, trained, successful salespeople.
Additional Resources on closing the sale and customer value
Explores the importance of the choices salespeople make about what they do next to close the sale. Those choices are based on all the available information they have about the prospect. The more salespeople know about why people buy and how they figure out value, the more information they gather from prospects and customers and the more accurately they interpret it. That additional information causes them to make better choices about what they do next to increase the likelihood of closing the sale.
Describes some of the major conclusions from the why people buy research study and includes questions salespeople should ask to apply these conclusions. When salespeople understand why people buy, how they figure out value and what affects whether they say yes or no, they can do more things to help close the sale. Closing the sale is primarily about making the best strategic choices based on what is going on inside the customer’s mind that will cause their perceived value to rise.
Looks at what customer value is, how customers figure out their perceptions of value and the existence of hidden value that could help justify more purchases at a profitable price.