John O' Gorman

9 things unforgiving buyers don’t like

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Competition at home

Buyers have heard it all before, which makes them a little more demanding. In short they are less forgiving when salespeople make any of the following mistakes:


  1. Not knowing enough about your own products, or the customer’s industry. The number one complaint of buyers is a lack of product knowledge on the part of sales people.
  2. Suggesting we need your solution without taking the time to find out about our needs, or requirements. It is risky to assume the customer has a problem and needs your solution, so don’t forget to ask first.
  3. Claiming that your solution meets every company’s needs and failing to appreciate that my business is different, or that my challenges are special.
  4. Talking as if yours is the only alternative, or option, making us suspect that you want to sell to us regardless.
  5. Hinting that the customer does not know what they are doing, or that what he/she is doing is wrong. Surprisingly this is quite common, with many sales pitches beginning with a statement such as ‘80% of software projects are over budget’, ‘most IT inventories are out by as much as 20%’, etc. These could be seen as thinly veiled insults to the customer.
  6. Oversimplifying the customer requirements, for example suggesting easy integration with 3rd party systems, when buyers know that integration is never easy.
  7. Making exaggerated claims that detract from the credibility of their message. For example ‘reduces time to market from months to just hours’, ‘cuts integration costs by up to 90%’, or ‘can be implemented for just 10% of the cost of traditional solutions’. Your claims must be believable and backed up by valid customer references.
  8. Talks in terms of marketing fluff, as opposed to objectively verifiable and quantifiable information.
  9. Getting defensive if the customer asks questions about your solution, or not attaching enough importance to objections and questions raised.

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