What do I do if I have a potential buyer who keeps asking the same questions? It seems like every time we speak, he repeats the same questions, and I give him the best answers I can. I don’t know whether he just can’t remember or what, but I’m at my wit’s end – he has all the literature, and he has many of my answers in writing via email. I’m stuck. – Kathleen in L’Anse, MI
There are a number of reasons why your prospect may be asking the same questions. The three most likely possibilities are he is not really interested in your product or service, he is too busy to keep your answers in mind, or you have not provided the answer he is seeking. You will never know what your potential buyer needs if you don’t ask. A solution to your dilemma is straightforward.
Schedule a Meeting
Schedule an in-person meeting to get to his “why.” Why is he asking you the same questions? When you meet in person, read your buyer’s body language. Over 90% of communication is non-verbal. Taking the meeting out of the office – for lunch, coffee, or breakfast – will infuse an element of relaxation and provide a more casual atmosphere. If you are unable to meet in person, utilize a video call. Looking one another in the eye is going to help tremendously to read his emotions and understand the situation.
Start your conversation with a question. Perhaps, “We’ve been discussing our product/service for some time now; what are the next steps for us to move forward?” Drive the dialogue to discover what is holding him back, because there is more going on here. You must determine what your prospect needs, wants, or lacks to break the cycle of the same questions.
As you consider the three likely reasons listed above of why your potential buyer is asking the same questions, prepare a response to each objection. If the prospect is not actually interested in your product or service at this time, ask for a referral and schedule a follow up 6 to 12 months down the road. Circumstances change all the time, so leave the door open for future opportunities.
When your buyer is interested, he can still be too busy, or seeking different information. Here’s the thing: your product or service is probably one very small portion of the responsibilities for your contact. Depending upon the time between your meetings, priority, and importance, it’s easy to understand why he may need a refresher. The good news is that he is continuing to meet with you, and you have qualified that there is interest.
The third reason you may be asked the same questions is because you have not provided the answers your prospect is seeking. Get back to sales basics. There are questions regarding the decision-making process you need to clarify, questions that are specific to your product or service, the buyer, and the buyer’s organization. Delve deeper to gain perspective and insight. Reframe your discussion with this newfound information.
After re-visiting the discovery and qualifying processes, ask yourself if there is a style or communication divergence you need to address. People absorb and process information differently, so reiteration and alternate formats improve retention. As an example, your buyer may gain a better understanding of your product or service through a demonstration or site visit. Explore new channels to deliver the information about your solution.
The journey from prospect to client follows a path of credibility, reliability, and confidence – the know, like, and trust factors. Ultimately, it’s up to you to identify your buyer’s “why,” qualify a mutually beneficial outcome, and build a strong relationship.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.