During a sales education event I hosted on the West Coast, a topic came up that I am compelled to share with our audience. For anyone involved in the business of sales, I believe this will prove useful to you and your organization.
Two Big Facts
90% of all sales transactions are emotional decisions. These decisions are based on a customer’s “L” factors and where they are on the scale at the time we make the first closing attempt.
10% of all sales transactions are logic-based decisions. These decisions are based on our ability to satisfy the customer’s need for information with a solution they can analytically asses at the time of our first closing attempt.
Every customer reaches a point either as an a emotional-based or logic-based buyer where he or she is either over or under the buying line. The buying line is best defined as:
“I have enough information to go forward with the purchase. Ask me to buy now!”
Understanding this process allows sales professionals to better time when the closing sequence should begin. Asking someone to buy when he or she is still below the line invites additional objections and, in many cases, results in a need to negotiate price down to receive a “yes” response to the purchase.
Understanding the “L” Factors
Every customer arrives with his or her own set of factors in hand. The factors are common to everyone but where the customer is on the Factor Scale is unique to each customer based on individual circumstances, past experiences, and current needs and expectations.
Look for these “L” factors in each customer:
- Level of Urgency
- Level of Enthusiasm
- Level of Interest
- Level of Experience
Let’s examine the Factor Scale:
Low Medium High Extreme
Example: a customer is shopping for a new automobile. They are in the market and have begun the shopping process. After visiting websites and doing research, they arrive at a Ford Dealership for a first visit:
Level of Interest Medium
Level of Urgency Low
Level of Enthusiasm Medium
Level of Experience Low
Is this a buyer? Potentially. The goal of the sales professional is to drive these factors into the high or extreme range before making a closing attempt. This is done by following all the key steps on the road to the sale.
The first alert is they have no experience with the Ford product since they have always driven Chevrolet in the past. Their urgency is low because this is day one. Their interest and enthusiasm is medium because they have decided to purchase a new vehicle.
If we can drive up interest by establishing trust and confidence early, the customer’s enthusiasm for the purchase will follow suit. If we can drive up the experience factor through a dynamic product presentation and demonstration, we can begin to drive up their urgency factor as well. This must be done with a service-based approach.
By slowing down early and determining their “L” factor scale with high-quality questions, we can then present our value proposition to fit their individual point of need. As we present and demonstrate, we can insert value confirmation questions to build minor point “yes momentum.” A series of tiny “yes” responses gradually builds the customer’s “L” factors towards the high to extreme scale.
I want the customer to have extreme belief in my company, product, service, and in me as their representative and solution provider. If they have extreme trust and confidence in these four key areas, I can be confident in a positive response when I make the first request to buy. I will drive their “L” Factors to the extreme level by focusing on their needs and exceeding their expectations. This is where active listening plays an essential role in the process.
If you start paying attention, you will be able to quickly determine the Factor Scale. I’m a numbers guy, so I created a numeric equation that I used throughout my career.
Low = 1
Medium = 2
High = 3
Extreme = 4
The Buying Line
1-5: No chance to sell
6-8: Maybe if price is very low
9-12: Good chance at a close
13-16: I will close the sale
I always waited to go for the close until they were 12 or higher on the scale. This worked well and drove my closing percentages and profits through the ceiling. I hope you enjoyed this post about the scientific side of the business of sales!
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