Ten Things Buyers Look For From Their Suppliers

We do quite a few surveys with buyers of our services and it’s always intriguing to find out why they buy from us.

Many times we have been surprised by their answers or their responses to specific questions that we had been led to ask after we thought they had exhausted their feedback.

But a new book by Mike Schultz called Insight Selling has condensed many hundreds of ideas that buyers have shared and done a lot of the hard work for us. Based on interviews across many industries and multiple countries, the book highlights areas that every salesperson should be aware of. By analysing this top ten list, salespeople will be able to concentrate on what is most important to consumers and focus their attention on dealing with them.

This is Schultz’s list of what the buyer is asking of you. See if you agree with Schultz and decide on how it will affect your future conversations.

1) Educate me with new ideas and perspectives: This means the prospect wants you to inform him what is going on out there in the big world and help him make decisions based on your knowledge and background with other companies and industries

2) Collaborate with me: He wants to see your businesses synergising with each other and creating a big and strong competitive market position. Your products and services play only a small part in the way their business operation can expand.

3) Show me how we can achieve results: He wants proof that what you can do for him, and what he invests i you, will make good business sense and allow them to grow in their market and surge ahead in their industry

4) Listen to me: Don’t just show up and throw up. Your prospect wants you to understand their business, have belief in their services and assist them in developing good customer relationships.

5) Appreciate my needs: Don’t just present products and services. Show me that you kn0w my business needs at a deep level. Don’t just give me value; give me reasons why your solution is best for me and my business

6) Help me avoid potential pitfalls: Tell me what might go wrong if I don’t take up your offer, or what will happen if I accept the competition’s cheaper product. I will thank you if I avoid future problems

7) Build a compelling solution: Prove to me that you have something that will change my perspective on how my business should do business in the future. Think about my needs and wants and allow me to see the potential results of accepting your solutions

8)Make the purchase process easy: Don’t make it a chore or make me regret doing business with you simply because the purchase process was a real pain. Make it easy to do business with you. After all, after I have agreed to buy from you, I just want the solution in place quickly, easily and with the minimum of fuss

9) Connect with me personally: Have at least the minimum amount of emotional intelligence that allows us to connect and for me to build trust with you. The old adage ‘people buy from people’ is still true today, even with the high level of technology involved. Make me personally feel good about the decision I am about to make, or have just made

10) Ensure the overall, long-term value from your company is better than any other options I could have made: I just want proof that I have made the right decision, not just now but in a year, five years and ten years from now.

Think of these tips as being the minimum you should offer to your prospect so they feel good about doing business with you and your company. That way, you’ll find you have further opportunities that may not have occurred if you had just gone through the motions or concentrated on just the product.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net)

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How Your Buyers Make Their Decisions – Part 2

In Part One of this series, we identified a reason why your buyers make decisions, either by moving away from  a painful scenario or by moving toward a beneficial one.

In this section, we look at another way your buyers decide. Let’s do a quick recap…

People’s decision-making criteria will always give away a lot of information, as they help you understand their beliefs, values and behaviours.
Buyers make decisions based on a series of criteria that makes sense to them. So if you can identify their view, you can determine how best to help them buy your solutions.

One criteria people use to make decisions is called a Frame of Reference. This is determined by where a person’s locus of control is centred. With one buyer, it might be ‘internal'; with another, external.

Have you ever noticed that with some people they know instinctively whether they have made the right decision or not? They have this internal ‘feeling’ or switch that tells them they made the right choice.

Others tend to rely on what others think, how others have used the product before, or what their opinion is on matters. You often see these kind of people take note of what other users on ‘Trip Advisor‘ or ‘Amazon‘ say. If a product or venue has good write-ups, they tend to believe these peers and buy or book accordingly. Similarly, if they give poor write-ups, that may sway their opinions and they may decide not to buy.

This Frame of Reference criteria is known as internal and external or intrinsic and extrinsic.

How do you know what criteria someone uses? Well, the question, ‘What made you choose that?’ when referring to a previous purchase will give you a clue.

Imagine if you asked a prospect, ‘What made you choose ABC when you decided on a supplier?’ and they replied ‘Well, we looked at what other companies were using, narrowed the choice down to three companies, spoke to users about their experience with the suppliers, looked at their client list, and made our decision after speaking to all three suppliers‘.

Notice the external references there? The prospect wanted to know what others’ thoughts were, discussed testimonials, highlighted what other companies were using and found out what their experiences were. They made their decisions based on others’ opinions and thoughts. This is known as an external frame of reference.

Imagine that another prospect answered the same question with, ‘Well, we discussed internally the factors we required, did our own research on three suppliers, checked their credentials online, assessed their professionalism through their websites and then I decided which we would interview as being the best fit. Then, the CEO and myself made the final decision‘.

See the difference here? The decision was made by knowing themselves what they wanted, rather than relying on what others thought and felt.

This is known as an internal frame of reference.Internally-referenced people use their own inner feelings as a guide to evaluate success. They know inside that they have made the right decision and they don’t need others to confirm it. They don’t like being told what to do and think.

Externally-refrenced people need to be confident through others that they have made the right choice. They use feedback and data to justify decisions.

How would you deal with these different criteria? With internally-referenced people, tell them ‘it’s now up to you to decide…what’s your opinion?…how do you feel about it?’

With externally-referenced people, find research from others that back up your claims. Show them testimonials from others who have used you before. Create a list of clients they can get references from. Highlight the results others have achieved.

By determining this particular buying criteria that is used, you are able to influence and persuade the prospect using the specific thinking pattern they use to make most of their decisions. And that will help you achieve a positive decision from them.

In Part 3, we’ll discuss matching and mismatching.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training


(Image by JS Creationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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