A key factor to increasing sales is how prepared is the prospect or buyer to be sold. Is the patient ready for surgery? What’s their mental mindset? How prepared is the buyer to be sold when you show up to see them? What is their emotional state when they see you? Are they simply curious about what you do? Are they somewhat interested in what you do? Are they in pain? Do they have a pressing problem or issue? How critical is that issue? And I think you would all agree that someone who has a great deal of pain and whose situation is critical is much easier to sell to than someone who is simply curious about what you do. So, you certainly would want to figure that out and given the choice, you would want to spend your time with people who are serious and have a real critical issue rather than someone who’s kicking tires. So, what is the buyer’s sense of urgency to do anything at all? Quite often our greatest competitors, no matter what we sell, are not the company across town but in fact it is Mr. Do Nothing. Complacency is our greatest enemy.
How to increase sales by avoiding “sticker shock”
Another factor that affects closing success is how prepared is the buyer to accept your prices and terms and your deliverables. In other words, when they find out what you do and how much you charge do they have sticker shock or were they conditioned and prepared ahead of time by your marketing that conditioned them to expect what the price will be.
I’ll give you an example. I know a cosmetic dentist in Richmond, Virginia. It is not unusual for his patients to come to him for cosmetic dentistry and for them to walk out of there with a price tag on their head of somewhere between $50,000 to $80,000 to fix their mouth.
Now what percentage of people do you think show up at the cosmetic dentist office who are going in there thinking they’re going to spend $50,000? The answer is not a one. They more likely are thinking it’s going to be $15,000 or $20,000, but hardly any of them go in with the idea that it’s going to be $50,000, $60,000, $70,000 or $80,000. If that patient walks into that dental practice and they’re thinking $15,000, and they get hit with a presentation that’s $60,000, that’s a long way between their expectation of $15,000 and the price tag of $60,000.
That gap is too large. It’s too big of a gap for them to reconcile so they end up walking out of there with sticker shock because they had no idea that it was going to be anywhere even close to that number.
So, what the cosmetic dentist does is prepare the patient with the idea that this is a going to be expensive. He does by conditioning the patient during the sales process so that by the time they get to the presentation and the case presentation or the case findings they realize that their initial thought about price was way off the mark on the low side.
This whole issue is addressed and choreographed by the dental staff in a very sophisticated sales process by the time they get to the sales presentation they have been conditioned to the fact that this is going to cost a lot more money than they were thinking it would going cost them.
So how prepared is your buyer for the prices that you charge? If they are significantly different than what the buyer first thought, they’re going to have sticker shock and you’re probably going to get a ‘think it over’.