If you are frustrated with slow decision making, it could be you are seeing things from entirely the wrong perspective. Your customer’s buying process is very different from your sales process. Take a look through their eyes. There are three things you (probably) have not considered:
(1) They are scared to take the risk
Imagine you leave a meeting. The client can see the value in your proposal, and they give you the right buying signals. You leave thinking it is a done deal.
However, although they may be happy, your client now has the task of selling your solution on to other stakeholders in the organisation.
On average there are 6-10 people involved in the decision which, for your customer, can be daunting. They risk their credibility (championing a solution that may not work), their time (of their own and other stakeholders), and even their job prospects (if they fail to deliver results).
If you do not acknowledge the risk, and help them reduce it, the client is often not brave enough to go ahead and the opportunity stalls.
(2) They have no idea how to sell your solution on internally
To get your solution approved, your client has to sell it on to other decision makers. This is a complicated process, full of difficult questions from senior stakeholders.
The reality is your client may not know the steps she has to take to get sign off.
Because of this, she struggles to start the process. It just seems like so much work.
And even if she does start, she often gets stuck by difficult questions and stakeholder objections.
This creates a lack of confidence and the opportunity stalls.
(3) Your proposals is written for the wrong people
Chances are you wrote your proposal for the individual client rather than the wider stakeholder group.
When the client reads your proposal, she will see the value that justifies the price. However, once she forwards it to the wider stakeholder group (e.g. her boss, the MD or the purchasing manager) it’s a different story.
The other stakeholders may not see the value. They may be risk averse. They may not want to spend money where they cannot see the ROI for themselves. This makes it difficult for the client to justify the expense and the opportunity stalls.
In summary, if you want to help your client make speedier decisions, get out of your head and into the mind of your client. See things through their eyes and make it easy for them, and the rest of the decision-making unit, to say yes.
In our next blog, “How to speed up decision-making Part 2” discover the 4-step process that will show you exactly how to reduce the speed of sale.
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