Buyer Insights

How Crazy-Busy Prospects Really Think

What's really going on inside the minds of those frazzled customers that causes them to keep you at a distance, brush you off, dismiss you entirely, or stick with the status quo?

Once you recognize how they think, and what you're doing that is bringing them to the breaking point, you can make changes to your own behavior.

Complexity grinds them to a screeching halt.busy prospect

Overwhelmed people can't take in, sort through, or make sense of massive amounts of information, or multiple variables for a major change initiative. When they sense that the effort required will make their lives even more complicated, they call it quits-even if the change would have been good for them.

They subscribe to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy.

Busy decision makers don't have time for things that aren't urgent. They may limp along with all sorts of makeshift solutions and work-arounds. Their current way of doing things may even be draining massive amounts of money from their pocketbooks or their company. Even though it makes sense to change, they don't do it. It's too much work.

They think that making risky decisions is career-inhibiting.

Nothing is more off-putting to busy people than the thought of a risky decision that could turn into a quagmire, require additional effort for approval, or potentially put their careers at stake. Even a small whiff of risk is enough for many customers to decide to take no action or to do business with another company.

Most of their options seem like near-clones of one another.

Most products and services look pretty similar these days-especially to busy people. Even if you have a marketplace lead, customers believe it's only temporary and that competitors will soon catch up. When customers can't differentiate, they default to price as a key factor.

They suffer no fools.

In every conversation and interaction, frazzled customers are asking themselves, "Does she know what she's talking about? How much work has he done in this field? Is the company well known in my industry?" If they detect insecurity, knowledge gaps, or BS, they will want nothing to do with the seller or his company.

This shouldn't come as a shock. We all think like this when we're really swamped. It's a normal human reaction to a way-too-busy life, but it still makes selling tough. And in a challenging economy, this thinking is exacerbated as your prospects struggle with even greater workloads and fear of job loss.

How can you be successful selling to these crazy-busy people?  Make sure you:

  • Keep things simple. Everything. As much as possible. Write short emails. Cut unnecessary material from proposals. Show them how you'll make it easy for them. Give them fewer decisions.
  • Demonstrate a strong business case. Show prospects the value they'll get from making a change. Help them see how they'll achieve their primary business objectives.
  • Minimize the risk. Demonstrate your personal competence upfront. Talk about experiences with similar customers. Propose smaller initial contracts.
  • Prepare, prepare, prepare. If you aren't prepared, you're not credible. In fact, you're just like every other self-serving salesperson. Make sure every meeting with you is well worth their time!

When you do this, you will be irresistible. And, that's exactly what you want.

YOUR TURN: How has understanding your buyer affected your selling behavior?  Share below.

After a successful career in the sales world, writing five books, and speaking internationally, Jill is now tackling an even bigger challenge. She's focused on bringing the "millions in the middle" together to solve some of the biggest issues facing our country and the world. Jill truly believes so much more is possible if we can work together.