John O' Gorman

Bewildered By Today’s Buyers?

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Buyers have rewritten the rules of modern buying.   They are adopting an increasingly structured and indeed scientific approach to how buying decisions are made.  The result is new steps, people and even logic involved in the buying decision.  The only problem is that most sellers are not aware of these changes.

Without an understanding of the changed nature of buying, sellers are scratching their heads as more and more buying decision slow to a crawl.  The result is growing confusion and indeed frustration as the new mode of buying jars with traditionally means of selling.  Sellers are left on the sidelines as the results from once successful sales strategies and techniques continue to slide.

6 Ways Sellers Are Bewildered By Today’s Buyers

So, what is it about modern buying that has left sellers ‘perplexed, bothered and bewildered’ (to use the words of the song)?  Well, the top 6 areas of confusion are listed below.

  1. Perplexed by buyers who say one thing and seem to do something else.   Such as for example – ‘we will think it over and come back to you’, or ‘price is the number one factor in the decision’.
  2. Confused by gaps and inconsistencies in the information regarding buyer needs upon which they must prepare a proposal, or quotation.   Sales teams are frustrated by buyers who, playing their cards close to their chest, can be slow, or reluctant to open up and fully engage.
  3. Confounded by buying decisions that are longer and more unpredictable.   They are in the dark about key aspects of the buying processes, such as; the steps, documentation and the sign-off levels.
  4. Thwarted in accessing key persons, or information involved in the decision making process.  They also complain of being sidelined by buyers who in adopting a hands-off approach to dealing with sellers are making more decisions behind closed doors.
  5. Frustrated by buyers who ask for a proposal, or a follow-up meeting, but subsequently won’t return a phone call.  Even more perplexing are buyers who give all the right signals, but at the last minute end up making the wrong decision.

  6. Suspicious of buyers and their real motivations – for example: ‘Are they just looking for a quote to satisfy their tendering requirements?’, ‘Do they simply want to pick our brains and take our ideas for free?’, or ‘Do they just want another quote so they can beat an existing supplier up over price?’

How to end the confusion?

What is the solution to growing seller confusion around modern buying?  It is for the seller to become a student of modern buying.  That is to switch sides of the table – to view the buying decision in the context of the demands placed on buyers by purchasing roles, as well as by business strategy.   It is for the seller ‘to walk a mile in the buyer’s shoes’ and to view the interaction between buyer and seller in the context of the past negative experiences and the inevitable scepticism that results as a consequence.

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