How much information do your prospects need to make a buying decision?

Well, that’s a great question, and one you should be asking them. Of course, you can always overwhelm them with data and information that they don’t care about and see where that gets you, but I’d recommend a different approach.

While it’s true people will want to rationalize their decisions and salespeople would be wise to give them exactly what they need to do that, never forget that buying decisions are largely emotional and made in a part of the brain that doesn’t understand words, much less data. That part of the brain isn’t particularly happy about getting overwhelmed and may react to too much input. When your prospects avoid making a decision to move forward, they may be in flight, fight, or freeze or appease mode.

If you want to help them to thaw from their freeze response, check in to see how they have made decisions in the past. How does that compare to where they are now? Find out what the freeze is all about for them? There probably is some fear or worry involved. Their past decision-making processes will give you important clues about how to proceed as their current process will most likely be similar. If you understand that and they know you understand, the comfort created can help thaw the freeze, and then you can help them sort it out.

If your prospects are suddenly fighting or pushing back when they seemed onboard before, take a pause and fall back. Make certain you haven’t adopted a defensive stance. Be open and engage in honest dialog about why they wanted your offerings in the first place. Revisit their core buying reasons – compelling emotional reasons driving their decision to buy. Make sure you didn’t miss anything or that things haven’t changed.

If you find your prospects going along but not making a decision to move forward, start over with your sales process to see if you can get them emotionally engaged again.

If they have flown the coop so to speak (flight response), you should seriously reflect on where things went wrong in your sales process and address it head on. Never make the prospect wrong so you can be right; that’s a lose-lose proposition.

The best way to avoid the fight, flight or freeze response with prospects is to have and become a master of your sales strategy, stay in rapport, be genuine and grounded, and, most importantly, be a great communicator.

Of course, there’s more to decision-making. If you want to understand the rest of the story, reach out, and I’ll fill you in.

Mary Anne Wampler