You can sometimes spend months and even years keeping prospects warm but how can you tell when they actually will buy from you?
They Get Excited!
One of the most rewarding things in any sales effort is when you talk to someone who is positively enthused by your product or service. So it might be a surprise to hear me say that NO, this isn’t a buying signal. Excitement is certainly a positive sign but in no way means the prospect is going to buy. Normally this is because a prospect is excited by the idea of whatever you are selling, but not necessarily in the specifics of your product or service. In some cases they might be excited for completely different reasons. As an example people often try and sell me video production and I’m always excited because I used to run a video production company and like looking at their marketing material! Excitement is too vague and cannot be read as a buying signal, after all it could also be that they are just in a good mood when you call them!
Staying in touch is a key component to any sales effort so it’s fantastic when a prospect connects with on linkedin or follows you on twitter…but no this still isn’t a buying signal. It takes the smallest amount of effort in the world to press connect with someone you’ve spoke to. This is certainly a positive step, and by connecting it’s easier for your marketing efforts to flow but a connection is in no way a buying signal. Also just because someone accepts a connection that doesn’t mean they want to be sold to straight away!
Probably the number one signal that they are actually interested is asking for the price. Obviously this can also be a pretty make or break factor in your sales pipeline but if you are both targeting and attracting the right prospects then in theory they should be able to afford you, if not get rid!
Another good buying signal is when people ask for more information. Anyone asking for anything specific normally means they’ve bought into the idea of whatever you are selling, and now just need to qualify that your specific service/product/business is for them. They might ask about timeframes or the golden question “what’s the next step.”
It’s All Worthless
Ultimately no matter how positive someone is, we’re in business. That means no one is an actual customer until money is in your account. That is unfortunately the world we live in. We can’t believe a yes, in most cases we can’t even believe something in writing. No matter how strong a buying signal is a prospect is not a customer until the money gets sent.