Top Three Buying Signals

 There's an old saying in the sales industry that states people love to buy but hate to be sold. When working with a sales professional, many customers put up barriers just to make sure that they aren't taken advantage of or pressured too much. The fact is that if someone is out shopping or is actively engaged in a sales cycle with a sales rep, they have already made up their mind to buy something.

This does not mean that they absolutely will buy something nor does it mean that if they buy that they will buy it from you. But, it does mean that your prospect wants to buy something and will present buying signals to you. If you pick up and act on these buying signals, you greatly increase the chances of earning the sale. Miss the buying signals and either your competition will enjoy the sale or you prospect just won't feel comfortable or motivated enough to pull the trigger and make a buying decision.

Asking About Timeframes

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Timeframe questions should be turned around. Thomas P Phelps

 It is common for a sales rep to ask their customer about their timeframe. "When do you feel you will be making a decision?" is a typical trial close that many in sales use. 

But when a customer asks you about a timeframe, know you've just heard a buying signal.

"How long will it take for delivery and installation if I decide to move forward?" for example, is a buying signal that should be telling you the customer is already imagining owning your product.

When you hear a "timeframe" question, turn it around and ask your customer, "our timeframes revolve around our customers. I will do my best to work our timeframe around what works best for you."

(This is isn't always possible as some sales rep's products or services have a very strict timeframe, lacking in any flexibility.)

Questions About Integration

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Thomas Phelps

If your customer asks questions pertaining to how your product will integrate with some or all of the customer's existing infrastructure, you are hearing a HUGE buying signal.

You'd probably think integration questions are unique to the IT industry, and IT sales reps do get a ton of integration questions. However, most customers are more interested in how a product/service will integrate with their lives more so that with their computer network.

For example, a rep in the auto industry make hear questions about the wheelbase or height of a vehicle because the customer wants to make sure the vehicle will fit into a garage or a parking spot. A real estate agent may hear an integration question about proximity to public transportation, nearby schools, churches, shopping, etc.

These are all integration questions and customers only ask these type of questions if they are interested in owning your product.

If you're in real estate and showing a home to a young married couple and your prospects simply don't like the house you're showing, would they ask about the neighborhood, restaurants close by, traffic noise or any other "integration" question? Probably not. 

So if you hear an integration question, understand your prospect is seeing how your product will fit into their lives. Make it fit like a glove (honestly!) and you'll be close to making a sale.

Questions About Competing Solutions

Don't throw your competition under one of these!. Harry Fodor/EyeEm/Getty Images

Unless you sell a product/service that has no competition, you will face competition in the form of another sales professional and a different product/service that is focused on solving the same or similar problem that your solves.

As an example, if you sell paint, your competition is not only other paint stores but also stores that sell wallpaper. Both paint and wallpaper solve the problem of covering up walls but both do it in a very different way.

So if your prospect asks about a competing solution, it's time for you to discuss the value your solution has over any and all competing solutions.

Remember, it's never a good idea to throw your competitor under the bus and it's also not a good idea to ridicule or minimize a competing solution.