The Cost of Delay
One very powerful way to move a procrastinating prospect along is to sit down with them and determine the cost of delaying the purchase decision.
This is not an “in your face” technique, but rather, a consciousness-raising exercise that can go something like this:
Say you are selling copiers. Obviously you will run an analysis that will hopefully show that your equipment will pay for itself in, say 8 months, and then provide an ongoing savings of $2,000/mo. thereafter.
Co-develop, with the customer, a spreadsheet with a certain start date. Then point out that the spreadsheet analysis is contingent upon starting on that agreed upon date. Then show how the ROI goes down each month thereafter since you are not letting the end date of the model slide.
By modeling this way, that is, with a constant end date, the drop off in return due to delay can be dramatic.
Many buyers and sellers do not discuss their product/services this way. By simply feeling that the whole thing can slide until the buyer gets around to making a decision misses an important point. The buyer can never retrieve those original, lost weeks and months.
So as salespeople, we really need to emphasize the importance of starting on a date certain and not letting the end date of the model slide.
By approaching the conversation and analysis this way, it gives our value proposition the sense of urgency it deserves.