Why It’s Important To Identify the Lead’s Buying Timeframe

Posted on June 17, 2018

Ryan Stewman



There are three stages of buyers you need to be focused on. The “right now” buyer, the “coming soon” buyer and the “someday” buyer. If you don’t identify which one you are communicating with up front, there’s a good chance you will screw up the sale and miss out on a commission. 
If you try to pull a right now close on a someday buyer, they will feel unwanted pressure, put you off and most likely never talk to you again. If they are truly not ready to buy today and you attempt to make them buy, they will resent you. No one buys from someone they resent.

It’s almost impossible to close a hostile prospect.

If you try the someday close on a right now buyer, you will have missed out on a commission coming on the next pay period that ultimately will go to someone else who identified the prospect’s needs and buying timeframe. 
When you blow off a coming soon buyer and forget to follow up in a week, they feel like you don’t care. When they feel like you don’t care, they won’t care to help you earn a commission. If they expect you to follow up in a short amount of time and you don’t they will for sure blow you off for the salesman who followed instructions. 
How do you know which category of buyer the prospect fits? That’s the big question and to determine the answer, you must ask some qualifying questions. Without the proper, pre-existing questions prepared, you will miss out on the buying signals that let you know where the prospect is and when you should attempt to close them. 
First, you need to determine what questions you will ask and what buying signals correspond to them. The first thing I do with all prospects is ask them “What made you decide to reach out?” This is how I get them to acknowledge that they wanted my help. This doesn’t work for cold calling or door knocking; it’s for those of us who live in the 21st century and generate leads that want to speak to us. 

After I ask them what made them decide to reach out, I’m listening closely to see how “in need” they are.

If they say “I’m just checking things out,” then I’m going to ask “How long have you been checking?” Once they answer, I might say, “How long are you going to keep checking around? Do you have a deadline for the purchase?” Even though these are simple questions, most salespeople fail to ask them and they miss deals because of it. 

Second, I’m going to determine how big the problem is that they want to solve. In other words, I want to find out how important it is that their problem is solved. If I sell trucks and they just bought a 4-wheeler and only have a car, I know that’s a big problem that needs to be solved immediately so they can enjoy their new ATV. If I sell furniture and they just bought a new home, I’m gonna go in hard on them because I know they have a “right now” problem.
When you first identify their problem, then you can make a good assumption on how fast they need to solve it. If it’s not that big of a problem, they won’t be in that big of a hurry to solve it. On the flip side, if it is a looming problem, they will most likely need to be pressured into making a right now decision

After you determine their buying timeframe, the most important part of the sale comes next. 

How you follow up is crucial. If they are a right now, buyer, you need to get on them for the one-call-close. If they are a coming soon buyer, you need to set a follow-up time in stone, that will take place a short amount of time from the current call. If they are a someday buyer, you need to follow up with them every 2-4 weeks like clockwork until they convert. If you mess this part of the process up, you will miss the sale.
Your follow-up needs to directly correspond to their buying timeframe. This is why it’s so important to figure out their timeframe up front. If you follow up with a someday buyer too often they will tell you to stop. If you don’t follow up with a coming soon buyer quickly enough they will pay your competitor
The key to your success is to be an intuitive salesman. You need to think about the prospect’s needs. Once you get to a place where you can put the prospect’s needs above your own need for a commission check, you will ironically make bigger commission checks. Sales is a game that’s all about THEM aka the prospect. Most people lose the game because they make it all about ME, the salesman.

No one cares about salespeople. We are simply barriers to the prospect getting what they want.

As soon as you get that through your head and you focus on the prospect’s needs, problems and buying timeframe, you will make more money. Trust me, as cool as one-call-closes are, most people have no intention on buying right now. Your job is to make sure that when right now arrives, you’re the person they go to. 
Lastly, if you become an expert at identifying when a prospect is likely to buy, you can build a huge pipeline and a follow-up machine to go with it. It’s when you reach this point that you get FU money from sales. One way to build that massive pipeline and follow-up machine is to use effective lead gen that’s always hard at work for you. You need more leads! The fastest, easiest way to get those leads is by using  PhoneSites.com. With PhoneSites, you can build sales funnels that collect leads on auto-pilot even if you have zero tech skills. And you can do all this on your phone in about 5 mins without any formal training. If you can use a mobile phone, you can build a PhoneSite. Sign up today at PhoneSites.com 

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