Being Flexible To Buyer Types

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

I came back from a sales meeting a week or two ago and I want to tell you of the experience I had and some of the lessons you can take from it.

You see, you need to be able to read between the lines to understand different buyer types and how you can approach the situation in hand.

So there I was waiting in the reception for our 10am meeting. It was 9:40am.

All of a sudden the door burst opens and this small whirlwind of a guy says “Hi Sean, I’m impressed with you being early……but not that early!” he said in a jovial mood “I’ll be with you shortly”

10am came and we went into the meeting. Here’s his exact opening words (or there abouts):

 

“Hi Sean, thanks for coming in to see me. Now, I’ve been recommended to use you from our 2 biggest suppliers who pay us £2 million a year each so if nothing else I thought I’d call you in to keep them happy and to see whether you can actually improve our sales at the same time. Now, in my opinion one off sales training doesn’t work unless you can tell me otherwise and I’m very anti-risk and don’t like spending money. I’m the down to earth Director of the company whereas the MD and FD don’t mind taking risks – so we’re a good team. So, what do you do and how can you help us?”

Phew!

No rapport, no small talk – straight into it.

So what are the lessons from this?

Now, I’m not going to tell you what I said but let me go through what my thinking was so you can start to develop this mode of approach:

“Hi Sean, thanks for coming in to see me. Now, I’ve been recommended to use you from our 2 biggest suppliers who pay us £2 million a year each so if nothing else I thought I’d call you in to keep them happy and to see whether you can actually improve our sales at the same time”

WHAT DID I TAKE FROM THAT STATEMENT?

1. These suppliers must pull some weight with them – find out who they and the person who contacted them

2. Possibilities of showing what we did for those companies and the results we achieved – social proof of our claims

3. This guy is a straight talker. So no fluff. Be straight to the point, business like and results orientated

“Now, in my opinion one off sales training doesn’t work unless you can tell me otherwise and I’m very anti-risk and don’t like spending money”

WHAT DID I TAKE FROM THAT STATEMENT?

1. Have they had their fingers burnt in the past with training that did not work?

2. He mentioned “one off” training does not work. Find out what he means. Does he have experience of “on-going” programmes and whether these work or not

3. He doesn’t like taking risks. Whatever we do needs to be justified to results, The risk needs to be on MTD Sales Training and not on his company to do business with us. He will msot likely want to see tangible evidence that the money was worth the spend. He doesn’t like spending money so let’s prove out worth with a low risk, low cost pilot and them measure the programme and then roll out

“I’m the down to earth Director of the company whereas the MD and FD don’t mind taking risks – so we’re a good team. So, what do you do and how can you help us?”

WHAT DID I TAKE FROM THAT STATEMENT?

1. He’s most likely the “It does exactly what it says on the tin” kind of person! Be straight with him and focus on the practical, real world elements of our training

2. Who has the decision making authority – him or the other Directors. Is he a key influencer or the DM

LESSONS

Now, I’m sure I had other thoughts at the time but I’ve just gone over my notes from the meeting and the areas above are the ones I could remember!

So the guy spoke for about 1-3 minutes yet I was able to process all of the above points of consideration. Our meeting took just 34 minutes in total!

So read between the lines with what your prospects say to you and then be flexible in your approach in coming back with questions.

Happy Selling!

Sean

PS
We are starting a sales improvement programme for the company in January 2009. 2 days per month for 12 months!

Sean

Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 23 October, 2008



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