Marketing Q & A
Marketing Q&A
By Al Jabaly

Al Jabaly is a certified marketing and business consultant with over 20 years of small business experience. Email your questions to All questions will be answered via e-mail. Some of the most interesting questions will be posted in this weekly column. For further information, Al can be reached at 1-888-899-3190


There is a general rule: if the prospect asks too many questions or makes a lot of objections about this or that, these are signs that the prospect has, in his or her mind, made a tentative decision to buy but has certain concerns that need to be addressed. I always say that the more objections thrown at me, the closer I am to a sale!

As to how you would know when the prospect is ready to commit, there are 12 BUYING SIGNALS you should look for. Let me summarize them below:

#1) IF THEY ASK ABOUT YOU: Ex. how long have you been with the company or selling this product, etc.

#2) IF THEY ASK ABOUT WHAT ELSE YOU SELL: the prospect may want to consolidate all his purchases of, say janitorial supplies, from one vendor and needs to find out if you are the one!

#3) IF THEY ASK YOU ABOUT A SPECIFIC MODEL: if you made your presentation and the prospect asks you about a certain model, that is a strong buying signal.

#4) IF THEY ASK YOU “HOW MUCH”: that is a strong buying signal!

#5) IF THEY NEOGITATE THE PRICE: say you told them the price in #4 above, and they start negotiating, that is a very strong buying signal. They made the decision but they want to see if they can get away with a lower price!

#6) IF THEY BRING IN A COLLEAGUE TO SEE IT: it shows you the prospect made the decision to buy but wants an affirmation from another person (boss, partner, etc.) and, to your amazement, you will find that the prospect will start “selling” the other person on it!

#7) IF THEY ASK ABOUT SHIPPING SCHEDULE: delivery schedule questions show strong buying signals and also show they would definitely buy if the delivery meets their needs.

#8) IF THEY ASK ABOUT THE WARRANTY: questions like what does the warranty cover? How fast can you send someone to repair it? How long is the warranty for? What happens after? All are strong buying signals.

#9) IF THEY ASK ABOUT PAYMENT TERMS: this means they have a strong need for the product but need to know if they can afford it, or if you would work with them on the payment schedule, etc.

#10) IF THEY START GOING THROUGH THE CONTRACT: indicates the prospect is ready to order!

#11) IF THEY ASK “WHO DID YOU SELL THIS PRODUCT TO?” they want to be sure they are not the first or only buyers of this product. By mentioning names of other clients who bought it, you just confirm their decision.

#12) IF THEY ASK YOU A QUESTION TWICE OR ONE THAT YOU ALREADY ANSWERED: this does not mean the prospect did not hear you before but wants to hear it again. It must be something the prospect likes to hear again or wants to be 100% sure he or she heard it right before placing the order!

When you hear one or more of the above buying signals, STOP SELLING and START CLOSING THE DEAL!