Yesterday I told you that procrastination makes you poorer, fatter, and unhappier.

The good news about this is that it doesn’t just apply to sales people.

This applies to your prospects to.

Your prospects are just as susceptible to the negative effects of procrastination as you are.

Now I am not saying we should be getting excited that at the thought of our prospects getting poorer, fatter, and unhappier. I don’t wish any ill will on anyone (except of course those who deserve it).

What I am saying is that there is something very useful to you as a seller in knowing both the effects and the causes of procrastination.

According to Professor Piers Steel’s study on procrastination, the two predictors of one’s getting something done or procrastinating about it are:

  1. Personal Expectation of Successfully Completing a Task
  2. Personal Value of Completing a Task.

Simplistically this tells us that as sellers we have to prove to each individual prospect that they can use our product to solve a problem, and that that problem is worth solving now.

That is the essence of selling: Solving important problems for people.

Beating Customer Procrastination

Here are 3 steps you can take in beating customer procrastination:

  1. Help the prospect perceive both the full value of solving or eliminating their problem, and the full impact of their delaying or doing nothing.
  2. Find out what might be more important that could cause the prospect to delay
  3. Revisit your proof: does your prospect believe that he can be successful with your product?

Most sales people focus only on #3. And even then many sales people don’t go far enough with that. You need to help your customer convince himself that he can solve his problem with your product. Until he is convinced, you’re not done.

More importantly though, what causes delays for many salespeople is that the prospect doesn’t perceive the problem to be important enough to solve relative to their other concerns.

Delays in people purchasing something that you want them to get are almost always due to other things they deem more important demanding their attention.

You can take this issue head on by discussing both the value of solving and the consequences not solving the problem.

Whether articulated by the prospect to you or not, the consequences of the problem and the value of solving it are the motive force behind every sales decision.

Both of these are in the eye of the prospect. So you need to be good at questioning the prospect to help them see and feel the value of deciding and the impact of doing nothing.

Questioning to uncover personal motivation and use it as leverage in the sale is a critical skill that I show you how to do in depth with examples in the Persuasive Selling Skills Audio Program.  If you haven’t done so already you should get your copy today.

And when people are stalling you, that’s not procrastination. That’s called lying.

The same process of uncovering the real problem, and determining its value and impact will help you deal with stalls. Because if something is important enough to solve now then they’ll be doing something about it, even if it’s not with you. Good questioning skills can uncover that.

Learn how to question for the real reasons for the sale, and you’ll be able to handle all the procrastinating and stalling that your prospects throw at you.