The Prospect's Buying Process - Leverage Powerful Insights
Updated: May 30
The Specific Interest Statement in the Buying Process
To make the right diagnosis, the salesperson must align their sales process to the prospect's buying process. The salesperson accomplishes this by making interim summaries throughout the process. For example: “Based on what you’re saying, you’re looking to address your number one or number two interest, and that’s going to address your motivation.”
This is where the salesperson makes a Specific Interest Statement. They can apply the product or service to the prospect’s needs and appeal to both the prospect’s logical and emotional reasons for buying.
As salespeople, when we ask questions, we’re going to categorize the gathered information. During that process, we’ll discover the prospect’s number one, number two, and number three interests. At the same time, our questions establish our value. They help the prospect see our eventual diagnosis and prescription as priorities.
As we noted before, we use our questions to first discover what the prospect wants. Then we discover why they want it. Why they want it is their motive, the emotional hot button. Essentially, the salesperson is selling to what the prospect wants and why they want it. If you need a reminder, go ahead and sing the sales song here.
The prospect will also have absolutes, such as price. Those absolutes shape the prospect’s priorities. For example, a prospect may want something with all the bells and whistles. But if price is an absolute, they’ll sacrifice what they see as only influential, like the bells and whistles, for something they see as necessary.
Also, remember the prospect can have several motives as well as several absolutes at play. As the salesperson, it’s your job to discover their dominant motives and absolutes, and prioritize them as necessary.
So, lay the proper groundwork by maintaining rapport and asking the right questions in the right order.
Identifying the Criteria in the Prospect’s Buying Process – An ExampleLet’s go back to the car lot example we used previously. While you are browsing the new and used models, you have your buying criteria in mind. You also have the main reason you’re buying a car. Maybe that reason is to get to work, or to shuttle your family about town. If you need a car to get to work, you’re buying that car for survival.
However, if you’re buying because you want to taxi your family around town, you might be place safety features over something that is cheap and convenient.
You also have absolutes in this car buying process. There are certain things you can and can’t afford. Pricing, monthly payments, interest rates, or a combination of those things can make the difference in the buying process.
This knowledge allows the salesperson to talk specifically to the prospect’s needs. If the prospect’s priority is safety, for example, they might be willing to forego a Bluetooth connection between their phone and the car in favor of a specific safety feature.
The Buying Process in the Sales Diagnosis
But remember, most unsolicited prospects don’t go into a sales situation realizing that they have these issues the salesperson is diagnosing. So, that means the diagnosis is about our ability as a salesperson to look somebody in the eye no matter what kind of sale it is and say, “Listen, based on what you’re saying, you’re trying to address this, and this will allow you to get your payout or impact your life in this way as a result of solving the problem.”
And that is what helps us tailor what we do. That’s what a diagnosis is: It’s our best-educated suggestion after a comprehensive investigation.
It’s up to the salesperson to get the prospect to acknowledge that the factors they outlined are correct, and then get the prospect to a point where they would be willing to listen to specific suggestions for addressing those factors. The diagnosis is about getting somebody to say, “Yes, I’ll allow you to present further, because what you say makes sense to me.”
Once the prospect says that, the salesperson can move the sale forward. But remember, the right solution for the wrong problem is worse than the wrong solution to the right problem.
Get your diagnosis right!
You’ll find more ideas on matching your sales process to the prospect’s buying process in Lance Tyson's book, Selling Is An Away Game: Close Business and Compete in a Complex World available on Amazon. Get your copy today!