We have all run into this prospect . . . you have met several times and the vibes are good but the client just won’t pull the trigger. The reason: Fear. Specifically, fear of making a mistake. Decision procrastinators are much more afraid of the pain of making a mistake than the benefits of making a decision.
Once you have determined that you have a scared decision maker on your hands, you may need to counter in the only language he/she will really relate to . . . risk . . . and this can be done in a couple of ways.
- Solve for Risk. Try to prove that the decision does not involve as much risk as the prospect thinks through a presentation which speaks to solving for risk.
- Preventing the Risk. You may need to move to the most emotionally intense argument of all . . . the risk of NOT making a decision. Sometimes this argument is pretty easy if the risk variable is obvious, like losing a house if you wait to bid, or losing an interest rate if you delay committing to a loan.
- Present Metrics. You may need to analyze and prepare some metrics that the buyer is just not focusing on. For example, if someone is waiting to purchase a new computer or copier, it would be important to point out, very logically and specifically, how much money the prospect is burning in extra hours and inefficiency each month by waiting.
The key is getting very specific and really bringing the metrics alive. If the argument is abstract or vague it will not penetrate the buyer’s emotional perception of risk and overcome the perceived safety of the status quo.
- Remove Personal Concerns. It is important to remember that besides specific risk, these prospects are just plain scared to look or feel bad if they make a bad decision.
So look for opportunities to reinforce their egos through the closing process. Remind them:
- How smart they are to make this decision
- How good it is going to make them look among their friends and peers
- How much they are going to enjoy the outcome
Keep reinforcing right up to and through the close, including afterwards since such buyers often experience a bit of buyer’s remorse as a by-product of all the emotional horsepower they have had to generate to move forward.
Remember these decision makers are ultimately being held back by the fear of making a wrong decision. Try addressing that fear by using these tactics next time you encounter a decision procrastinators.