What happens when you meet a hot prospect who has been shopping around? Maybe they even mention that they want to look at your product or service to make a comparison and then decide what/where they will buy. How many times has this happened to you, and things did not turn out well?

When a “shopper” appears, maybe you might be thinking, if they have been looking around at my competitors, why haven’t they already bought from someone else? (I ask myself that question every time I meet a comparison shopper.) Even though I am thinking that I know one thing for sure, my goal is to end their search by persuading them to buy from me – right now. In most cases, I have been successful at ending “shopping around” by hot prospects because I know the real reason why most of them have not already moved forward. Would you like to know why that is? They have not already moved forward because they are not just comparing options of similar products or services; instead, they are still trying to convince themselves to buy in the first place.

Since I have seen these kinds of prospects for many years, I felt compelled to discuss this situation and explain how you can successfully end this kind of prospects comparison shopping with them buying from you most of the time.

Meeting with a “shopping around” prospect that is looking at the competition, I don’t make the mistake of assuming that they are already convinced or have a strong enough need for the product or service just because they are looking at my offering. Instead, when I start talking with them, I find it interesting that a shopper isn’t even sure that they should proceed. They are still toying with the idea of staying status quo or doing nothing at all. In fact, in many cases, I find they are leaning toward the idea of continuing to put up with the problem or trying to solve the problem themselves.

I don’t duplicate the presentation given by the last three or four salespeople (asking the prospect what their problem is and then explaining why my product is the solution). When I determine that I am dealing with a comparison shopper, I spend a substantial amount of time reasoning with the prospect about why they want to buy the product or use the service. Additionally, I explain why they do not want to solve their problem on their own or, worse yet, continue to live with it. I stress why they will have a much-improved outcome if they use my product or service. One of the reasons I am so successful selling these types of prospects is that I give a comprehensive reasoning presentation as if the prospect has only begun their search versus that they had just been talking to four of my competitors.

Once I thoroughly persuade the comparison shopper why they should not try to solve the problem themselves (or stay status quo), I shift my sales presentation to a compelling argument as to why they should buy my product or service. When giving this part of the presentation, I explain why my solution is different from the other three or four options that they previously considered. Here is why this is so important. At this point, the individual is turning into a ready buyer, and I do not want them to leave and buy from one of my competitors.

Now, here are two questions worth considering:

  1. Why is the individual that has, at this point, listened to several presentations by other salespeople not already thoroughly convinced to buy something? 
  2. Why do such prospects require a more detailed reasoning presentation to persuade them to act?

The answer is related to need-based sales training. Most salespeople are trained to find the need or pain point and then convince the prospect that their solution will solve their problem. There is a big issue with this type of sales training. It assumes that just because someone has determined that they have a need, they have sufficient reason to act versus continue trying to solve the problem themselves or stay status quo and live with the problem. This assumption is false. The truth is that most prospects who start thinking that they have a problem still require a substantial amount of persuasion to convince them to part with their hard-earned money and pay for a solution. Knowing they have a need is not enough. Most of the time, the prospect requires more. I see this situation time and again. In my area of expertise, most prospects go back to the status quo and do not buy from an average salesperson even when they demonstrate a belief that they have a problem and are looking into my solution. I never assume that they are on board and ready to act, not at all.

You don’t want to make that mistake either, it is your job to convince them of the improved outcome of using your product or service, so you must have a series of reasoning arguments that you employ to persuade them. Once you know that they are genuinely persuaded, you need to make sure that they understand that your solution is what they want to use to solve the problem and achieve their improved outcome. Now you are ready to move forward with your enhanced knowledge of what to do when you meet up with a comparison shopper to persuade them to buy from you instead of doing nothing or – buying from the other person.

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