During my sales training programs and/or 1-on-1 sales coaching engagements I often share sales and sales management best practices from over 30,000 salespeople, sales leaders and business executives from a variety of industries across the globe as well as buyer-based behaviors I’ve collected over the past 40 years. One topic that has been consistent during the sales process is trying to understand why buyers buy and as importantly why they do not buy. My experience suggests the four reasons why people don’t buy are:

  1. No need. The prospect says that they don’t need your product or service. What they really mean is that they don’t perceive that they need it. They are either buying the product or service from somebody else or they feel they are able to satisfy their requirements internally. Be careful not to lead with product too early in the conversation to avoid the, “I don’t need it” response! Engage in sales conversations versus sales presentations.
  2. No vision. The prospect is unwilling (or chooses not) to look at a new way of doing something or they don’t believe that your company has the products or capability they want. Make sure you keep your prospects informed of expanded/new capabilities and/or products and always share success stories of other companies/clients that have purchased from you.
  3. No value. The prospect can’t cost justify the decision to buy your product or service. Be careful not to talk about the product or service before need has been admitted or vision has been created. Always offer to document the return on their investment so you can sell value versus price!
  4. No power. Unfortunately too many salespeople spend too much time trying to sell to people who can’t buy. It’s always important to have an idea of who you’re selling to. IDEA is an acronym for Influencer, Decision Maker, End-User and Approver. To be more effective in sales one must always find the person (or the people) with the power of the pen. Also, make sure you weave a web of influence long before you need one!

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