I just read this eye-opening statistic: 87% of people bear right upon entering a store.

Interesting, huh?

I mean, it’s not like nearly half go right and half go left, which might be a logical guess if you or I were asked which way people go upon entering a store.

No.

Essentially 9 out of 10 people will head to their right upon entering a store.

Now I don’t know exactly why this is that 9 out of 10 people bear right. But I am going to guess that it is probably related to the vast majority of people being right-handed.

Right-handed people probably have a pre-disposition to looking right first when in a new place or situation.

People follow patterns.

There are an uncountable number of patterns that make up how you do things, how you think, how you make your way through life every day.

There are the obvious patterns, like the order of your morning wake-up ritual.
Whether you shower, shave, workout, or eat first, you probably follow the same pattern 5-7 days a week.

People have patterns when they buy too.

Each person has a pattern for how they go about making a decision to buy something. This pattern will hold true for that person whether they are buying something like a new pair of jeans or a large computer system for their company.

Consider the last time you bought a new suit, shirt, jacket, pants, or pair of shoes where you didn’t know exactly what you wanted.

How many items did you try on?

If you’re like most people, you tried on 3-5 items.

If you don’t believe me, count for yourself the next time.

Very few people can go in and buy something with only trying one thing on.

Some people definitely CAN do this. But they are not the norm. And those that do buy quickly have a higher return rate as they more frequently have buyer’s remorse about their decision later on.

In business buying, people need 3-5 options as well.

Sometimes they need 3-5 companies to make their buying decision.

Sometimes they just need 3+ product or service options, which could be proposed by one company.

Very few business people will make a decision without considering 3+ options. And those who do are prone to going back and reversing their decisions later.

So as you are getting to know your prospect, do some digging to see what you can discover about his evaluation patterns.

Ask about some other buying decisions he’s been involved with.

It is important that you ask about previous decisions and not the current one. You want to carefully find out what he typically does when buying.

What you want to avoid is suggesting any extra steps on your part. By talking about past decisions, you can determine what steps are important to him by way of habit / pattern.
 
Find one where he was the person leading the decision and ask more about that.

How many companies or products did he need to look at?

What steps did he take to evaluate them?

Did he speak to customers? Get demonstrations? Written proposals?

What details were important about each of these aspects of his buying evaluations?

By knowing the nuances of your prospect’s buying pattern, you can tailor your selling so that your prospect gets what he wants, when he needs it.

And you can tailor your negotiation of the commitments you need and what you deliver through the sale cycle so that you are moving things forward both for you and your prospect.