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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  July 07, 2011

Dealing With A Delusional Buyer

Have you ever talked with a prospect that you connected with immediately?  They called you, sang your praises, acted like they were ready to write the check and all of a sudden…said they would “think about it”?  You’re scratching your head wondering “what just happened”?

These conversations occur a lot after the recession and many people think it’s their lack of sales skill or that the person is an idiot.  (Guilty as charged on the latter one.)  After hearing too many stories (and having a few of my own) here’s my theory:  you gave the client a financial wake-up call and they hit the snooze button.

Here’s the deal:  most folks already have an idea of what they are willing to spend.  If your quote is bigger than the number in their head, mental stop signs immediately pop up.  Once that happens, the “I’ll think about it” excuses begin.  This is the #1 cause of the stalled sale.

The real problem?  Their mental budget is not based on reality.  It’s based on what they want to pay, or on the bargain basement price they saw on the Internet.  They are blissfully ignorant of what it really costs to solve their challenge.  Your quote was their reality check on what it will take to make it all better.  That’s why it’s called “sticker shock”.

Your best response:  cushion the blow as early as possible.  Most incoming inquiries include questions on what your charge.  Take the initiative and give a heads-up that your services can’t be purchased at the dollar store.  My favorite phrase:  “The investment for one-on-one relationships start at $xxx.”  It’s too early to quote numbers or ranges, so use terms such as three figure, four figures, five figures, etc.  This advance warning allows prospects to opt out or change their number.  All before you spend tons of time trying to sell your services.


About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.