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Why are Your Customers O’s or P’s? (You need to Know)

When you purchase something, do you have a procedural preference or an options preference?

Or are you wondering what on earth I’m talking about?

I promise to explain, but firstly I wanted to send the message of just how much of a benefit it would be for you to know which of your customers buy with a procedural preference v those that buy with an options preference.
Stick with this…answer the following question with your immediate response…even if it doesn’t make sense to you.

Why did you choose your current job?
If you have a procedural preference you are likely to say something like you saw the job online, applied for it, went for an interview and go on to tell the story of how it happened…even though the question is ‘why’.

If you have an options preference you will have responded to the questions with the criteria or reasons you chose your job ie not a process.

Subtle, but crucial differences. People BUY this way too and if you can identify the correct options or procedural trait in your customers and potential customers, quite simply you’ll generate you more sales.

Customers with a procedural preference
Your procedural customers are more likely to follow orders, requests and instructions to the letter. They will often get so caught up in how to do a task that they will sometimes forget why they are doing it. They will often refer to “the right way” to do things.

Selling to a customer with a procedural preference
When you interact with a procedural person you need to pay attention to the information you give, be exact and unambiguous. They will like clear cut steps…preferably those that are already tried and tested. Bear in mind they are likely to follow what you say verbatim. They need to know exactly how the relationship will go and what happens at every stage. Be sure to set out the stages that the sales process will follow.

Customers with an options preference
Your customers with an options preference will want to experiment and continually ask “what if?” or “what else could we do?” questions. They will sometimes seem compelled to be inventive and explore all the options. They don’t follow rules easily, they like to make their own.

Selling to a customer with an options preference
Give options people a couple of choices, three maximum. Give them too many options and they get stuck knowing what to choose. Clearly set the boundaries, the musts and constraints. Options people are not interested in following a process. Emphasise various possibilities and let them know that the decision to buy will expand their choices. Then stand back and watch the results!

That question again?
Oh and if you’re thinking that “Why did you choose your current job?” may not be the right question for your customer, simply replace ‘job’ with something that would work i.e. car, holiday, printer. The important word in the question is “why” so make sure you start the question that way.

It’s all about the psychology of selling.

As is always the case this is just a snapshot of the options/procedures “meta- programme” which is so useful in sales, so if you have any unanswered questions or want to know more ways to reach sales success then do pop me an email.

Until then


About the author

Hi I’m Leigh Ashton of The Sales Consultancy

Whether you’re a small business or a leading brand, an area manager or a Chief Executive, whether you’re new to sales or an experienced sales professional. Even if you’re not in sales at all but want to understand it, you’ve come to the right place.

The World of Sales is changing.

Today’s conventional sales training doesn’t address the psychological barriers that get in their way.

My approach takes your sales team through a process that:

* Helps them identify their psychological barriers and gives them the tools to overcome them
* Teaches them how the mind works so they can keep motivated and stay focused
* Gives them the ability to identify the psychological patterns of their clients and prospects so they connect with them at a deeper level and close more sales

And at a higher level…

* It creates more success in other areas of their lives so they are happier generally…and happier sales people generate more sales

Wherever you are on your personal sales journey what’s the best course of action for YOU.

– Sales Training – that actually gets results
– Leadership and Management
– Personal Coaching and Mentoring
– Sales Mentoring Programme
– NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can help you accelerate your success
– Keynote Speaking