Written by Sean McPheat |
We’ve been discussing with some of our apprentices recently the changes that they have seen in their lives.
Yes, although they’re only eighteen and nineteen year-olds the rate of change, even in their lifetime, has been staggering.
One of them showed me her new iPhone 6 and that had been her third iPhone. Another said they’d never buy a laptop because a “tablet does all they need”
Being born in the late nineties means that they have grown up with the internet, smart phones and a whole wave of social and IT related innovations as a way of life.
We’ve said for a long time now how selling has changed over the years in terms of the modern day buyer being able to use all of this new technology to thoroughly research their options and to help them make better informed decisions – they will continue to do so as well. The buyers who used to buy don’t exist anymore, the sales patter that salespeople used to rely on doesn’t work anymore, and the opportunities that weren’t around before are many-fold.
However, there are many things that haven’t changed in sales and it would be good to digest them, before we run away with the idea that everything about our sales jobs has disappeared!
Concepts that haven’t changed:
1) Buyers still buy what they want: This is constant and will never change. The ability for us to recognise people’s motivations and their drivers will always be a required skill of any sales person. Buyers buy what they want not necessary what they need.
2) Buyers still want good value: No-one will admit they want the cheapest, as the inherent risks that go along with cheapness is not worth the pieces they have to pick up later. Value is in the buyer’s eyes; if they think it will do the job, it’s worth the money
3) Buyers want to be treated fairly and professionally: Treating buyers as fools or naïve may well come back and bite us hard, as social media has built a firm platform of information that can increase their knowledge exponentially. Treat buyers as professionals and you can’t go far wrong
4) Buyers want the best results possible from their choices: the age-old myth that buyers bought features and benefits has hopefully been laid to rest. They never did. The thought process that has never changed is the fact that people buy things to move away from their current position towards a better future.
5) Buyers buy from people they trust: This is one of the consistent needs that has always had an effect on buying decisions. Without trust, people will often turn away, even if the price or cost has been seen to be the ‘best’ (whatever that concept means to each buyer). Trust is identified as the end result of confidence and belief-building
So, whether we are apprentices like the guys I mentioned earlier, or long-serving sales consultants, as long as we realise these ‘constants’ have always been, and will always be, the key drivers of buyers’ decision-processes, we can have confidence that they will help us maintain balance and integrity.
Originally published: 2 February, 2015