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7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Spend Money (Hint: If You Worry About Paying More Than You Should, THIS Article is for YOU!)

Let me begin by stating that the ideas I offer here were obtained from studying Jeffery Meyer’s Succeeding In Business Newsletter issues. Adapting them to my purposes has actually helped me repeatedly convince prospects to buy from (or hire) me.

If you are an entrepreneur, understanding the ideas I offer here, if you apply them correctly, CAN help you close more sales. I say this from experience. Simply use the questions enumerated below to help them realise they NEED YOUR products/services.

But I’m writing here, NOW, for prospective buyers of products/services – the prospect or existing client, who is considering “buying” a product/service from a provider.

In the course of my work, I have learnt that some buyers only want one thing: The lowest price (s). To them, the lowest price means they’ve gotten the best value for every Naira spent.

However, even in the Nigerian market, it could prove severely wasteful to base your purchase decisions solely on price. There ARE other things to look for.

Are you scared of paying more than you should?

Well, there is something you can do, to ensure you minimise chances of making that mistake.

To spend “wiser”, simply make it a habit to think up YOUR answers to the following questions, before making your purchase decision.

I call them the “Prospective Buyers’ Decision Making Questions”.

1. Why do you need the product/service?

Another way to ask this question is “What do you want to use the product/service for?”

If you cannot think of a good reason to justify purchasing it, then it would be obvious that doing so, would be likely to be a bad decision – money wasted or poorly spent.

2. How did you go about deciding the kind of product/service you need?

Okay, so you have convinced yourself you NEED the product/service.

But just before you go out and get it, why not question yourself further about HOW you arrived at your choice of product/service.

For instance, a person could decide s/he needs a new vehicle for the company’s sales department.

However buying a luxury car (e.g. BMW) to meet that need might not be the way to go.

3. Why doesn’t the existing product/service meet your needs (i.e. assuming you already have one)?

If you already have something that addresses that need, why is it that you feel a need to purchase this other product/service.

Is it that you feel what you have does not fully meet the existing need?

Or is it that you anticipate future needs may outstrip the capacity of the existing resource?

Take time to carefully reflect on this, as it would go a long way to enable you accurately determine whether or not to go ahead.

4. Because the present product/service doesn’t serve your needs (or because you have none), how is this impacting on your establishment’s effectiveness?

This is related to the preceding question.

By implication, you will find reflecting on this question useful in further deciding on how relevant the product/service you are contemplating buying is to your real needs.

So, if you are able to identify and enumerate specific/tangible ways that the existing product/service is negatively affecting your company’s performance, it would provide further justification to purchase the new one.

Note however that one possibility you could equally consider is CHECKING to see if there is a way you can get the current product/service to IMPROVE, so that you do NOT have to purchase a replacement or addition, which would require more spending.

5. What will happen if you don’t purchase this new product/service?

Of course, if the existing product/service is not addressing the important needs of your company, the company will continue to suffer for it.

Failing to correct that situation will likely result in more negative impact.

So, ask yourself what will happen if this trend continues.

If the answer you get is NOT what you want for your company, then you’ll have to seriously consider purchasing the identified alternative(s).

6. How did you determine the price you said you want to pay for this product/service?

And this is the most sensitive one of them. Money!

Everyone these days is thinking of how to use less of it, to get more of what they want.

But who can blame them? It’s plain common sense!

The only problem is that some people tend to take it a bit too far. They begin to think of getting EVERYTHING for little or nothing.

Having gone through the process of reviewing the questions before this one, you should have come to terms with the reality that the product/service you wish to purchase is capable of FILLING the need you have identified, or SOLVING the problem you have discovered.

Either way, you will have accepted that it is worth paying for, and since it will be IMPROVING on what you currently have in place, there is a good chance it will not be “cheap”.

But it could be affordable. So, I suggest you aim to NEGOTIATE a good bargain, to get it.

7. What if the product/service you purchase doesn’t work properly OR what if it fails to serve the needs you identified?

But we must NOT be academic about this. No one is perfect, and no process is fool proof.

This implies that following the above outlined steps may not ALWAYS result in making the right purchase.

This could happen for so many reasons. One example is your understanding of the situation that created the need you identified.

If you are not well informed about the dynamics of that situation, you could draw the wrong conclusions about what the need is!

The moral here is that you MUST strive to be conversant with whatever aspects of your operations you are evaluating.

Be honest with yourself in this regard, and if you are unsure about your ability to do this, consult one or more persons that have the competence (your staff, colleagues etc) to help you make the right assessments.

Final Words

To end, I now share some details of additional information I provide to my prospects or clients, to further “educate” them about why buying from (or hiring) me would be the right thing to do.

a. We believe in establishing long term relationships.

“A customer who is only interested in doing business with the supplier with the lowest price has no interest in developing long term relationships.” – Anon

For the person contemplating making a purchase, this has already been addressed in the preceding discussion.

If you focus only on getting what you want at the lowest possible price, you are likely to end up getting what you don’t want i.e. lower quality.

Or the supplier could walk away. If s/he decides to sell to you on that unfair basis, s/he may not be forthcoming when you need after sales support etc.

So, be careful!

b. We want to help you become better at what you do.

Jeffery Meyer recommended politely informing the prospect or client that you “are not just a vendor selling products/services”.

You will tell him/her that “your vision is become a valued advisor whose knowledge, training, education, and experience will enable him/her get better results”.

For the prospective buyer, the above statement is just as relevant.

You should carefully study the “provider” of the service/product you are contemplating, to see if s/he shows signs of abiding by a code of ethics that makes him/her willing to be a “Valued Advisor” to those s/he serves.

If YES, that gives you more confidence to do business with him/her. If NO, the logical line of action is obvious!

I believe if you as a prospect buyer of product/service adopt the above steps in your decision making thought process, you are likely to make more accurate purchase decisions that you used to.

Good luck!

PS: This article was first published online on 9th August 2010 via www.spontaneousdevelopment.com and Ezinearticles.com.

 

[IMPORTANT: This blog's contents are being updated following the transfer to www.tayosolagbade.com from my former domain - Spontaneousdevelopment.com. As a result, some parts of it may not work properly for now. Quick Tip: If a link contains "spontaneousdevelopment.com", simply change it to "tayosolagbade.com" - and it should work. This applies to article links as well as image links. Work continues to update the links(in over 500 articles). Tayo K. Solagbade.]

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