The One Question Every Buyer Wants Answered

Over the years. most trainings and development programmes for salespeople have emphasised the importance of effective processes and techniques to be able to ‘sell’ their products and services. Most salespeople want to know how to ‘open the call’ or ‘overcome objections’. The skill development has revolved around how the knowledge and experience can be built so that they can capture interest, build desire and commit to action.

As time has passed, much of the development required by sales people has switched in its emphasis. The economic climate and the need to cut costs and overheads has changed the way that products need to be presented to achieve solutions.

Where previously we discussed how to present products, we now create images of the future when the product is in use. Where previously we discussed how to overcome objections, we now discover opportunities for the prospect to uncover where obstacles might occur before they come up.

So, how should we now approach our role as salespeople? Should we concentrate on technique, skills and knowledge? Or should we adopt a differing mindset that helps us build benefits and opportunities for the prospect?

One way we can think it through is by determining what is most important to the customer we are dealing with. Emphasis in the past has been on how we present the benefits and advantages of our products and why they are better than the competition’s. Now, we should help the prospect to see how they can improve or get better with our solution. Therefore, we should consider the customer’s mindset, and determine what is going through their minds before they make a decision.

The one question every buyer wants answered is “What solution will help me most to achieve my needs or desires?”

This question is going through the mind of the customer at every stage of the conversation and even before. When they are contemplating changes, whether it be new clothes or a new office location, they are always trying to answer the question of solving the problem. Knowing the problem that the prospect wants solving is the key to helping them make a decision.

Therefore, our emphasis when we are considering which direction to go with the sale should be on answering, “What problem is the prospect needing to solve? What benefits should be highlighted to the prospect that will help them choose our product? How will our choice improve their business opportunities?”

When we answer those questions, we laser in on what is most important to the prospect. You consider options that will be best for their business. You create conversations that focus on what is best for them, rather than us.

Approach every situation with that question in mind…what solution can I provide that will help this prospect achieve their needs and desires?

By thinking that way, your discussions will always assist the prospect to see the future involving your solutions.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by David Castillo Dominici at

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Three Buying Motives Of The Modern-Day Buyer

Selling today is all about recognising the true motivations of buyers and aligning your presentation/solution to match their needs and desires. We all know that.

So, with an up-to-date buyer, who has little in the way of time and resources to spend, what do we need to do to assist them to make a decision to choose us and our offering?

Well, our research has shown that there are probably a small number of over-riding drivers to decision-making that affect the majority of purchasers. We recognise that these will be used in different levels and amounts by each person, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can be taken.

But if we realise that most buyers tend to be influenced by these specific drivers, we can align what we say and do to match these ways of thinking.

In the modern-day buyer’s mind, what are the major factors that influence their decisions? And how can we mirror them so the buyer feels we are the best choice for them?

Firstly, and naturally, it’s Money.

But in a slightly different way to how you might have anticipated it.

Most salespeople think that when a buyer asks for a discount or a lower price, it’s because they don’t see the value in your product or service. However, it goes down to a deeper level than that. We have to remember that most of our B2B buyers want a lower price because:

1) They want to get more repeat business from their customers

2) They want to offer something better than their competition

So their rationale in asking for a lower price may revolve around their ability to offer their customers a better deal. And the reason for that could be they are looking for greater profits themselves.

The way to discuss this with the prospect is to confirm the real reason why they want a lower price from you. Sometimes it may be they simply want to get a good deal. But it probably really means they want to have lower costs so they can pass the savings onto their customers and beat their competition while making more profit themselves.

So the underlying reason is for them to make more money.

This enables you to highlight the benefits and advantages of your products and services that will enable your prospect to prosper. Discuss how you can help him to improve his profitability. Point out the benefits over the competition’s offerings that will make his company look good. Determine how your back-up and warranties will build long-term loyalty and allow your prospect to gain more from existing and new customers.

Always determine the real reason behind the request for price reduction. Most times it will be to enable the prospect to make more profits, and that ultimate goal could be achieved in different ways than simply by reducing your prices.

Secondly, a buying influencer may be Reduced Risk.

What I mean by this is that they may want to have greater confidence they won’t miss their deadlines with their customers. It could be they want greater confidence that the products they offer will actually do what they promise they will do. And they want to give their customers more reasons to use them, so their reputation increases and they become more attractive to new clients.

So, one of the areas you can highlight could be how your products and services reduce the risks they have to take in their market-place. This will give them more confidence and peace of mind when they sell. Don’t underestimate the power of risk reduction.

Another key component in decision-making may be Time.

If you are able to offer confidence to your prospect that you will be able to deliver on time, there will be less time spent by them on worrying about customer complaints and issues of inventories.

It will also give them confidence that the value of dealing with you is greater because they can trust your promises and can get on with what they do best, without worrying about what’s happening in the background.

Remember, then, to concentrate on these three key buying motives (Money, Risk Reduction and Time) so that you match the needs and desires of your prospects and don’t get dragged in to surface-level debates about costs and other incidentals that hide the real reasons why they may be buying from you.

Before I sign off, here are some more tips on becoming a great sales person:

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at

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Are You Ready To Sell To The Modern Day Buyer? – Infographic

The way that sales professionals sell has gone through massive changes over the last few decades and the sales process has gone from a one way “push the benefits” monologue on the behalf of the sales pro, to an in-depth internet-based research analysis on the part of the buyer – before they are even willing to interact with a sales person.

Today’s buyers are a lot more sales savvy; they conduct research online about your products and services, your company, your competitors and they can even find out information about you on a personal level as well. But if you as the sales professional are still trying to sell to them with the same old tired methods and techniques then you are likely to find that you get turfed out of the running before you’ve even had chance to speak to your prospects!

The infographic below gives you a quick overview of the way the sales process has developed over the last 30 years and helps you to understand who the modern day buyer is and what they now want when they are looking to make a purchase.

Happy selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training – please give attribution to MTD Sales Training if republished)

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How The Social Media Movement Has Changed The Face Of Selling

I have spoken many times on this blog about how the sales process has changed, and that the modern day buyer now makes their purchasing decisions in a completely different way to their predecessors. Modern day buyers are much more sales savvy than before, and are able to find out everything they need to know to help them make a purchasing decision before they’ve even contacted a potential supplier or spoken to a sales person.

The sales landscape is changing, and sales professionals need to move with the times in order to stay on top. Talking you through all of the ways in which the sales process and the modern day buyer has changed, and explaining how you need to change the way you approach a sale with the modern day buyer in order to close more sales, could be very time consuming – so instead I thought I would give you a quick visual tour through the complexities of the modern day buyer’s behaviour and show you the effect the Internet and social media has had on the traditional sales process.

Our infographic below will give you a whistle stop tour of how the Internet has changed the way that people buy, and show you exactly why we as sales professionals need to change the way that we sell.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by MTD Sales Training, Copyright 2012)

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Sean McPheat Is Bringing Modern Day Selling To The ISMM This October

In no less than 6 weeks MTD Sales Training’s MD Sean McPheat will be returning to the stage at the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management’s (ISMM) Successful Selling Conference at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on October 12th.

Following on from the success of last year’s conference where Sean keynoted to over 1,000 sales professionals on his alternative sales method known as eselling©. During his keynote, Sean showed the audience at the ISMM why they should be using social media and other internet-based services to enable better prospecting, personal branding, networking and engaging with key decision makers online.

This year Sean will be delivering his Practical Sales Clinic breakout session, in which he will be digging even deeper into the concepts behind modern day selling and showing attendees at the event exactly how they can use the power of social media in their selling to gain a real return on their investment.

Sean’s return to the Successful Selling Conference has been causing quite a stir in the local media, with the Coventry Telegraph publishing a great piece on the background behind Sean’s modern day sales approach – detailing Sean’s achievements as an entrepreneur and the owner of many successful internet-based businesses.

Sean has proven that his modern day approach to selling really does work, and he is keen to show other sales professionals and business owners in all sectors and industries exactly how they can use the Internet to improve their sales performance and generate more qualified leads for their business.

For more information on the ISMM Successful Selling Conference, including a full agenda of the day, please visit

See you again soon folks,

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

MTD Sales Training

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