Some buyers will tell you immediately what they’re looking for. They share their ideas, concerns, timelines and other details with no hesitation. Other prospects aren’t so forthcoming. They may not want to share too much information with salespeople, or they may simply be more reserved in general.

When you encounter buyers like this, it helps to determine their intent. In this issue of PromoPro Daily, we share some guidance from international speaker and bestselling author, Anthony Iannarino, on how you can elicit buyer intent in the sales conversation.

Ask direct questions. We ask questions because they provide us with the information we need and help us build rapport, Iannarino says. Try starting with something like, “Can I ask you to share with me what you need or what might help you?”

Listen well. When you pay attention to what the prospect says, you can get clues that reveal their intent. Great listeners not only pick up on the buyer's intent, Iannarino says, but also on what isn't being said.

Consider the prospect’s history. For example, are they working with a different promotional consultant? This lets you know they have experience buying promotional products. Their intent may simply be switching to someone new, or they may be looking for a better price.

Give them options. Prospects don’t know what they don’t know, so give them choices. Iannarino says this is like an eye exam, where you review the chart and choose the lens that is clearer. Options help buyers dial in what they want.

Ask for help understanding. Keep in mind that the buyer may be looking at purchasing promotional products for the first time. You can help them understand their options by using permission-based questions. Iannarino suggests asking, “Can I ask you to help me understand what you need and what might be most helpful to you?”

Ask for a commitment. This doesn’t have to be a signed contract. It could be a next meeting or sending a product sample. The idea is to get the buyer to take some action that shows they have an interest and some intent, Iannarino says.

Prospects will express their intent in different ways. Before walking away from a prospect who may initially seem uninterested, go through the steps above. This can help you understand where buyers are coming from and give them the insight they need to move forward.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Anthony Iannarino is an international speaker, bestselling author, entrepreneur and sales leader best known for his work at The Sales Blog.