Published November 15, 2012 | Updated March 28, 2022

Buyer uncertainty is something every successful equipment and technology salesperson must deal with, particularly in our current business environment. But it goes with the territory — even in the best of times, nobody ever suggested that being a salesperson was easy. Competitive pressure, solutions suitability, price, and buyer’s remorse top the list of the thousand or so things that can derail an equipment and technology transaction before it happens. The very act of selling is almost, by definition, an uncertain undertaking.

A much more troubling type of uncertainty is the one that settles over equipment and technology buyers as they weigh their needs in the face of rising concerns about timing. Is now the right time to buy? The fact is that selling equipment and technology during these times is a precarious endeavor. But if your business is selling equipment and technology, uncertainty in the marketplace is something you not only need to be aware of but also tackle head on.

In the equipment and technology sales cycle, uncertainty creates a timing issue. Uncertain buyers tend to delay the decision to acquire equipment, technology, and software until they are certain that a “sound” buying decision can be made. But this is a never-ending process because uncertainty can never be fully eliminated from the equation.

When business owners, managers, and executives become so obsessed with what’s happening down the road, the sales process is extended, sometimes indefinitely. Equipment and technology acquisition is delayed, and everything grinds to a halt. Invariably, the more uncertain a buyer is, the longer the sales cycle becomes.

Uncertain and reluctant buyers are continually asking themselves, “When is the best time to acquire new equipment, technology, and software?” It is the dealer’s role to answer that question. And the answer is simple: whenever the business needs it. Consistently focusing this message on customers and prospects is one of the best ways for an equipment and technology dealer to smash through the barrier of uncertainty and to close more transactions successfully.

Buyers need to understand that all businesses face the same general economic, political, and regulatory uncertainties as everyone else. So from a competitive standpoint, these factors tend to cancel themselves out because everyone must deal with them. If a business leverages it properly, uncertainty can instead become a competitive advantage. By forging ahead with needed equipment, technology, and software investments instead of engaging in the kind of fear-induced groupthink that many companies are plagued with today, a business can gain a tremendous competitive edge.

Once again, the time to acquire equipment, technology, and software is when a business needs them, not when there is no more uncertainty, because that will never happen. Uncertainty is a part of doing business, and for that reason, the decision to get equipped is a straightforward, calculated decision based on operational necessity, not on multiple scenarios of the future.

When equipment and technology is needed to streamline operations, improve efficiency, or boost productivity — all of which will ultimately increase profitability — a business must acknowledge the need and move decisively to meet it. Any other approach has the opposite effect, ultimately costing the business money.

The equipment and technology dealer must be an agent of change, a trusted advisor that shifts the balance of indecision. Businesses must move to acquire the solutions they need when they need them. That’s a powerful message, one that every dealer should be communicating to both customers and prospects, every day.