Written by Sean McPheat |
Recently, I had the privilege of attending a dynamic presentation evening with one of our prized clients.
They continue to test us and our services, which is great as it means we learn with every step we take with them.
Part of our relationship involves identifying their specific needs even before they realise they have them.
It’s all part of our consultative approaches that increase value and demand for services.
One thing we’ve done with this client is map out their thought processes when they are making choices, and we’ve developed a ‘buyer perspective/decision-making’ journey they make when they are choosing suppliers.
What follows is a series of questions they go through when they are trying to make decisions as to who they work with.
It gives a fascinating insight into what makes a buyer make a decision, and I hope it will help you in your thought processes when you approach your customers.
Questions buyers contemplate when they are assessing suppliers:
Is this salesperson/company different from others we have seen or will see?
Are they competent and will they be able to do the job for us?
Do I want to share information with them?
Do I want to admit my critical business issues with them?
If I did, would they really understand the impact those issues are having on the business?
Questions buyers contemplate when they are with suppliers:
Do I agree with their diagnosis of our current situation
Should I be honest about the impact it’s having on me personally?
Does the person want to take responsibility for the results this solutions will achieve?
Do I agree with the value statements they are making?
Questions buyers contemplate when they are asked to make decisions:
Am I willing to accept the consequences of going ahead?
Has the company convinced me of the short and long-term benefits I will receive?
Am I prepared to promote this to other decision-makers?
Am I prepared to ‘sell’ this idea to the end users, the people who will be affected by my decision?
Is this the kind of person I would recommend to others if they asked me?
Do I agree with the proposal’s value statements and their claims?
Have I contemplated contingencies in case their promises don’t materialise?
I’m sure you’ll agree these are questions that would prove thought-provoking for any sales consultant who knew they were being asked in the buyer’s mind.
What you must do is see if you can answer them in your mind before your prospect asks them.
Pre-empting these buyer decision-making questions in your preparation, build-up, discovery, positioning and presentation of solutions may help you to uncover specific needs and identify which direction you need to go to convince your prospect they are making the right decision to go with you.
Originally published: 2 December, 2015