Buyers Redefine Selling
It is well worth taking a few minutes to check that your view of selling is the same as that of the buyer.
You may well be surprised to find that it is not! Therein is a significant opportunity – to better align how you sell, with how buyers want to be sold to.
Do You Share These Views?
Ask salespeople for their definition of selling and here are the type of answers you are likely to hear:
‘Getting people to want that you want to sell’, or in a similar vein ‘Getting people to buy what you are selling through influence and persuasion.’ (Score 1 out of 5)
‘Closing the sale’, or more aptly put ‘Converting enquiries into cheques.’ (Score 1 out of 5)
‘Matching your solution to the buyer’s needs.’, or ‘Finding out what the buyer needs and demonstrating that yours is the best solution to meet those needs’. (Score 2 out of 5)
‘Building relationships with the buyer while helping to solve his problems’. (Score 3.5 out of 5)
If like us you were not happy that the above definitions truly captured the character of modern selling, you might be tempted to consult a more authoritative source.
‘The Oxford Dictionary defines selling as ‘making people want to buy something…’
The Oxford Dictionary for example defines selling as ‘making people want to buy something…’. Now, if you drop the word ‘making’, is getting a little closer to the reality of the complex sale. But it is not quite there yet.
Do You Know How Buyers Define Selling?
If you really want to go to the source regarding what selling is and should be, then you are going to talk to those who buy. We did this, looking back on the hundreds of conversations with buyers from all industries and sectors.
The result was a blinding flash of the obvious – ‘Selling is helping buyers to buy.’ Obvious though it may be that is the new benchmark for successful selling. So, it is that
The most effective sales techniques help the buyer to buy.
The most successful sales people help the buyer to buy.
The most powerful proposals help the buyer to buy
And so on…
Let’s get specific about what ‘helping the buyer to buy’ means:
- Helping the buyer to complete the various actions and gather the necessary information in order to make the decision (we call this helping the buyer to define and navigate his/her buying process)
- Helping the buyer to establish a clear rational, or justification for the purchase. This in the case of the complex sale is nothing short of building a business case.
- Helping the buyer to get buy in and address the different needs of all those involved in and affected by the buying decision (we call that the buying team)
Are You Helping Buyers To Buy?
Here is the rub, most traditional sales techniques do not help the buyer to buy. If we listen to buyers neither do most sales people, sales pitches and sales proposals. Indeed they often do just the opposite!
‘…most traditional sales techniques do not help the buyer to buy.’
So it is time to really make helping the buyer to buy the guiding principle in all your daily sales activities.
John O' Gorman is a Business to Business sales coach, Director of The ASG Group and co-author of the ground-breaking book, The B2B Sales Revolution. John works with sales teams and sales managers across Europe to accelerate sales using the sales performance solution; SellerNAV.
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