8 Common Reasons Prospects Don't Buy


No matter how great a salesperson you are, you're not going to close every sale. The goal is not perfection – rather, it's to keep reducing the number of sales that you lose. As long as that percentage is shrinking, you're becoming a better salesperson. With that in mind, here are some of the most common reasons prospects decide to either not buy at all or to go with another vendor.

The prospect doesn't see the need. A prospect who doesn't think that he needs your product isn't going to buy it.

That sounds glaringly obvious, but it's amazing how many salespeople fail to take the time to identify a prospect's need and then make sure that the prospect himself acknowledges that need.

The prospect sees the need, but doesn't feel any urgency. Just having a need isn't enough to get a prospect to buy; it has to be an urgent need. If the prospect isn't feeling any pain because of the need you identified, he'll put off making any changes (including buying from you) until he does feel pain.

The prospect doesn't see how your product meets his need. Seeing a pattern here? That's why the prospect's needs are a crucial part of selling. And it's not enough for you to understand a need and how your product addresses it – unless the prospect understands as well, you're wasting your time.

The prospect doesn't see your product's value. When a prospect tells you that your product is too expensive, the issue isn't really price.

It's that he isn't aware of the product's value to him, so he thinks that the value it offers is too low to justify paying that much money for it. While many salespeople will respond to price objections by offering a discount, a far better move is to explain why the product is worth the price you're asking for.

The prospect doesn't see how your product is better than the competitors'. Part of showing your product's value is showing how it's also more valuable than the products offered by the competition. Without this additional step, your product is still a commodity – meaning that it's in the prospect's best interest to go with whichever version of the product is priced lowest. So when you're proving value, it's a good idea to point out specific ways in which your product is more valuable than similar products offered by your competitors.

The prospect doesn't trust you. You can talk about your product's value until you're blue in the face, but if a prospect doesn't believe what you're saying, you are not going to convince him of anything. A skeptical prospect is usually pretty obvious, if you keep an eye on his body language. The best way to show that you are trustworthy is to provide ironclad proof of the claims you've been making. Testimonials, case studies, third-party articles, benchmark tests, and similar items can help you make your case.

The prospect you're speaking with isn't the final decision-maker. Talking to someone who doesn't have actual purchasing authority is an enormous waste of everyone's time.

Even if you convince the person you're speaking with that buying the product is a good idea, you're leaving it to that person to sell to the decision-maker instead of doing it yourself. Since the person you're speaking with is unlikely to be as good a salesperson as you are, this is a really bad idea.

The prospect never intended to buy from you. Big companies often require purchasing agents to collect a certain minimum number of bids before making a buying decision. So even if a purchasing agent has already made a choice of vendors, she still has to get bids from other salespeople before she can buy the product she wants.

If you are one of the unfortunate salespeople chosen to fill in the required number of bids, you never had a shot at winning the sale.

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