By Victor Antonio, BSEE, MBA
Selling effectively begins with trying to understand what problem or concern the buyer is trying to resolve. Once we understand the problem, we are more equipped to position the product for easier acceptance. But one of the things we want to ensure is that if the buyer goes down the path of purchase, they don’t change their minds at the last minute due to cold feet. To ‘block’ the buyer from backing out, it would be wise to reinforce their buying decision.
The first step is to identify the buyer’s Dominant Buying Motive (DBM). A DBM is the primary reason a client will buy from you. Let’s say you walk into a store with the purpose of buying a dryer. The DBM is the need to be able to dry clothes. But if we look beyond the DBM we’ll see that there are other mitigating circumstances that are “supporting” the DBM.
Let me illustrate my point by using the need for a dryer to dry my clothes as my DBM. I also know that by having a dryer I will also solve other issues or concerns. For instance:
So you see, although my DBM is the need for a dryer to dry my clothes, I also have mitigating circumstances and reasons that support my buying a new dryer.
In selling, most people just attack the DBM by telling the buyer that having a good dryer is a good thing and then they go on to explain all the latest bells and whistles (i.e., features) that come with the dryer.
A more effective strategy would be to emphasize how have a dryer will solve the other mitigating circumstances surrounding a good dryer. Keep in mind that the buyer is looking for reasons that support his decision. So maybe a good sales pitch may go along these lines:
"You chose a great dryer. First, you will no longer have to take the time to hang your washing inside or outside. This will save you some time that could be well spent doing other things. Also, think about the amount of time you’ll save by not having to lug your laundry over to the Laundromat. Having a dryer immediately available after a wash will cut down on the moldy smell you often get from clothes that haven’t been properly dried. You’ll also cut down on the amount of ironing time with the new steam jets in the dryer. These new dryers have the latest in energy saving technology which means that over a one year period the average energy bill is reduced by $100-$300."
Notice that in this sales pitch I didn’t just address the DBM, but the supporting factors that will drive and push the sale forward. The DBM is what the customer wants. The underlying factors that support the DBM are the ‘reasons why’ the customer really wants to buy the dryer. Think of these mitigating factors as legs that support the DBM. The more support legs you can place under the DBM the better. Again want to ensure is the buyer doesn’t get cold feet by blocking the buyer from backing out by reinforcing their buying decision.
Another important reason for wanting to emphasize the DBM supports is the possibility of the buyer canceling or returning the product. Now in the case of a dryer I will assume the return rate is low. But in general, buyers who’ve plunked down a large amount may start to feel some ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ and question whether or not their decision to buy was wise or prudent. By emphasizing the support factors a buyer will be able to rationalize and justify the purchase later on when you’re not around.
Exercise: For your business, I want you to think of a typical client’s DBM. Then, take the time to write down 3-5 reasons that support the DBM. If you don't know what those reasons are, then probe by asking the client questions regarding his motivation for wanting to buy. If you listen carefully, people in general will give you the necessary information to sell them. Then take those reasons and build them into your closing sales pitch or as a reinforcement statement once the sale is made. If done correctly, you could realize a 10% increase in your close rate and you may also be able to reduce your cancellation rate by another 10%. If so, then you could realize an effective increase in sales of 10%-20%.
Copyright © 2008 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing or sales training seminars should be directed to Victor Antonio G. at firstname.lastname@example.org.