STALLERS typically suffer from indecisiveness, and it can affect your work processes.

It's the same everytime: Meeting after meeting; phone conversation after conversation; request after request for more information; proposals, pricing breakdowns, references and evidence of results. And still no decision.

The following suggestions may help.

1. Ask yourself: "Why the indecision?"

Buyers may stall at the point of decision for any number of reasons. Your response, of course, will depend on the reason:

* They can't decide about the product or service.
Response: Offer more evidence and proof.�

* They can't decide about you or your organisation.
Response: Increase credibility.

* They can't determine how the decision might go over inside a "down'' internal climate.
Response: Help them gather input or show value in a negative climate.

* They are posturing for a price discount.
Response: Wait.

* Theanswer is no and they're too timid to tell you.
Response: Ask point blank and give them permission to be straightforward with you.

2. Offerguarantees

Create opportunities for the indecisive customer to touch, see, feel and experience your product or service. Provide all the possible evidence of results.

Put him in touch with references who can offer assurances. Delay payment options until the buyer has the opportunity to "sample" your service and trust that you will not deliver and then run and hide.

3. Help to pass the buck

Once you determine that a customer is a staller who is incapable of making a decision no matter what guarantees you offer, help him to pass the decision to others-for example, his boss, a team of colleagues such as a task force, or even a subordinate "who needs to develop judgment skills in making such a decision".

If the would-be target is a task force, volunteer to help get the group organised. Yes, generally, it is tougher to sell to a committee, but you still have a better chance of selling to an action-oriented committee than a stalled individual.

4. Create deadlines or incentives to buy

People have become accustomed to acting under pressure and reacting in a crisis. It may be that your buyers cannot decide until there is a deadline.

If this is the case, create a discount that is good only until a specified date. Offer a bonus that's good for, say, only two weeks. Mention the benefit of seeing a demonstration and enrolling in training for 50 managers - but only if a contract is signed in time to make the demo and training arrangements by the specified date.

5. Decrease the frequency but increase the volume

Decisions demand emotional energy from stallers. To remove the pain, decrease the number of buying decisions the individual has to make. Decrease the order frequency while you increase the order volume so that the person has to order from you only once a year instead of once a quarter.

6. Limit choices to the important few

Don't let trivial decisions overwhelm indecisive customers' overloaded circuits so that they are tempted to pull the plug on the whole buying situation.

Arrange all the details of your most popular choices into Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C choices. Offer those options as packages so stallers don't have to tackle them step by step, decision by decision.

7. Write contracts with automatic renewals

Allow stallers to make as few decisions as possible. For example, propose a multi-year contract. You then can add automatic renewal clauses that require no action from the staller to remain in force unless you raise your prices.

8. Beprepared

Don't wait until you need a decision to ask for one. Start early and assume that the staller will renew an expiring contract, mentioning new value you will be offering under the new arrangements.

Waiting until a few days before you need to get a buyer signed on the dotted line is like pulling out into the middle of the intersection and then stopping to wait for the signal light to change. Chances are likely you will get hit before that happens. Remember, stallers need time to adjust to any change.