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We All Have Buy Cycles

NOV 30, 2012 3:37pm ET

Whenever each and every one of us determines that we are going to buy something, we enter into a “buy cycle.” This is where we determine how much time is utilized in shopping/purchasing, the amount we are willing to spend (budget tolerance), and how many stores we are going to shop at.

Of course, lower priced items typically involve looking at just one store, have a small dollar amount and take less time than a big ticket item. Depending on perspective, big ticket items may not include furniture, appliances or automobiles. For myself, I do not care what furniture my wife purchases, but if it is a vehicle, I have my own buy cycle in comparison to my wife. A home purchase is a big ticket item to most people.

Some shop the Internet where a home purchaser takes 22 months to purchase, on average, compared to the three-month purchase off a yard sign posted at the property. The “drive by” shoppers are more intent in purchasing, (time), than the web browsing purchaser in this regard. For Sale signs, with a virtual audio tour/call capturing system remains the most effective tool in selling a home quickly. 

As professionals, we have been trained to “close the deal” and we can tread upon the choices purchasers always possess. As professionals, we do not have the power to decide for the purchasers, but some techniques attempt to circumvent the purchasers of this choice. Push-marketing is never appreciated and results in buyer's remorse, an incomplete transaction, and complaints as the sales person/originator was pushy, inconsiderate and unprofessional.

There are concepts which teach us to consider the deal done and act like the purchasers’ have already decided to buy which leads us to consider a lead an acquired client, or a shopper as a closed applicant. Think about when a sales person treated you like you already have decided, when you have said and thought: “This is a large investment,” or “I want some time to think about this.”

What is being shared is that the client has not concluded their buy cycle. Any attempt to rush or push them into signing adds duress to your closing techniques. When you are purchasing, and you want time to think about it, do you appreciate someone attempting to talk you out of taking time to think about it? Then you should cease performing such practices and give the purchaser time to think. 

Understanding one's buy cycle, asking how many stores (other originators) they plan on visiting, how many quotes they want to secure and determining their budget tolerance will increase your closing better than push marketing them. I actually tell people to go home and sleep on it. Really! I know, you have been trained not to allow such, but you will have buyers close themselves, increasing your closing ratio, as a result.

When I find myself being the first of five, or the second in four, stores they are visiting, I close the loan application package and talk to them of their buy cycle. After discovering the compelling reasons and budget tolerance, I recommend we take the application to get started in the process, but to contact me once they have gone shopping to determine continuation of the application.

I now have an opportunity to send them things that could change their budget tolerance, improve refining their compelling reasons to purchase, and become a friend, a mentor, a real professional. If I can show them how purchasing a home improves their cash flow through property tax and interest deductions, I can add more value to the relationship than others who simply want to close them before they are ready.

Buy cycles are fluid and can change upon new information and knowledge they acquire. Be the provider of such to them and they will be returning to your store to purchase. This is known as pull marketing and works so much better than push marketing.  People want to choose, compared to being chosen, so let them make a choice which is always their authority, and not yours to make for them.