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The Golden Rule

Often dubbed the golden rule of sales, “Make it easy for your customer to buy,” was one of the best lessons I learned in my sales career. This is why:

I am extremely indecisive.

I feel sorry for the people I go to restaurants with.

I like everything. I want to eat one of everything on the menu. I’m that guy who says “just another minute” to the server over and over again.

I try to solve this problem by looking to the server for suggestions. The bad servers reply, “Well, everything here is good!” What a horrible answer. The good ones give me maybe 1 or 2 suggestions, tops. Guess what — those options are never the cheapest items on the menu, but they get me to make an order and fast.

Moral of the story

Waitress_taking_an_orderMake it easy for your customer to buy something from you. Whether you are a restaurant or a software company with complex pricing — I have never bought from you before and even after reading your menu (or e-book) I still don’t know what I want. Here are some suggestions on how to help your customer move through the buying process faster and make purchases more often.

Don’t ask, tell them what to buy

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If you are selling software by the “seat” (individual log-ins to use the system) and you have different types of users based on what they can do, don’t just email your customer a complex list of permissions and features and ask them how many of each they would like. Ask your customer questions, learn about how and why they are buying your product and then suggest a package to help them get started. Your customer does NOT know if they need 2 administrators and 16 sales people to access your system. You need to figure that out and tell them. Be the good server and make a great suggestion.

Ask about their buying process and get ahead of it

stock-footage-document-signature-paper-signature-signing-a-printed-form-signature-on-agreement-to-sign-aIf you are selling to a larger company they will likely have to jump through some hoops to make a purchase. This can include getting on their vendor list, filling out forms and so on. If you are getting closer to closing that deal, ask about their buying process and what they need to do to make a purchase from you. Nothing like getting to the last day of the quarter, but you fail to get a purchase order because you have not filled out their new vendor forms. If a buyer is serious they will often be okay with starting this formal process before the purchase is actually made. There are many small issues you should have taken care of as a small company that can make it easier for your customer to buy from you. Take credit cards. Need a document signed? Invest in e-signature software.

Bottom line: remove obstacles, make the process simple and you will close more deals.

Did you find this advice helpful, if so, please share! What do you think? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet directly @shaunricci!

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Shaun Ricci

COO at Ideal
Shaun Ricci is a Canadian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ideal. Shaun served as Co-Founder and COO of Field ID until it was acquired in December 2012. Shaun’s accomplishments include spots on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists as well as the 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Shaun is also an active writer, documenting his wins and losses while building his startup sales team.