Have you ever heard a sales prospect say, “We are pretty happy with who we are using, but I will call you if we decide to make a change?”  When we hear this it usually means we just accidentally smothered the prospect to death (death of the sale that is).  Here are four things that will help you close more sales and NOT smother your sales prospects.


You can tell when a sales prospects desire to buy is “passive” when a they acknowledge their business has a frustrating problem or challenge, but they are not yet convinced the problem is big enough to solve or do anything about.  They are content “putting up with it” and haven’t seen any reason (yet) to take action to change it.  This is a “passive buying need”.



A sales prospect with an “active” buying need is one who shares with you the challenges they are facing in their business, as well as, the negative impact and repercussions those problems are having on them personally, their staff and their company.  They are fed up and no longer willing to “deal with” the problem but are ready to take action to change it.  These are “active buying needs”.



When we, as sales people, hear our prospects share with us some of their passive buying needs we tend to get excited and want to help them solve those problems.  We have a natural urge to share with them more information about our products and services and get them interested in buying from us.  The problem is, passive buying needs don’t carry enough weight to motivate the buyer to action.  It is not until those passive needs become active needs that they are willing to buy.  So, if we start presenting and selling our products too early we smother the prospect and they disengage, cool off and say things like “Do you have some information you can leave with me and I will call you if we decide to do something?”



Sales people must be focused on developing buying motivation during the Needs Analysis stage of the selling process.  It is not just for understanding the needs of the buyer, it is also about developing the urgency and seriousness of taking action.  So how do you do this?  Through expert questioning.  Ask questions that uncover the main problems they are facing.  Ask questions that reveal the negative consequences those problems are having on the company.  Ask questions to quantify the financial, physical or emotional impact of the consequences.  Finally ask questions to help them share and articulate the value or benefit that would come from switching or changing their current situation.


Use this expert questioning skills to help more your sales prospect from “passive” buyers to “active” buyers and see what happens with your sales closing ratio.  Good luck and let me know how it is going for you!


Want some extra training on this?  Join my clients and I for sales training this next week…FREE.

LEARN:  How to uncover the real reasons why sales prospects buy.  How to increase their buying motivation and develop a greater sense of urgency for making a buying decision.  We will discuss how this information helps prevent price battles with competition and how it helps you close more sales.

WHEN:  Mon or Tues at 10am MST

RSVP here:   https://goo.gl/dcBcMI


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Until next time: Don’t just sell.  Create value, do work that matters and make a difference for your clients.