The DNA Of The Modern Day Consumer

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

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More objections, more price bashing, the economy excuse, stalling tactics, gatekeepers from hell and elusive decision makers – just what is going on in the world of selling?

Well, to me, it’s obvious – today’s buyers have changed; they are more advanced, sales savvy and more sophisticated than ever before and they’ll take the shirt off your back if you’ll let them too!

But here’s the question: WHY?

Well, let me give you 5 reasons why this is so.

REASON # 1 is that the internet has changed the face of selling as we know it. Before the internet it was very difficult for any buyer to check up on anything that the sales person was saying.

Not so today.

With a couple of clicks of the mouse they can get information about your company, your products and services, your clients, your turnover and even information about you.

They can then go on over to your competitors site and do exactly the same. Just think about how cars used to be sold?

Before the internet you’d most likely have to go to a dealership where the sales person would you show you the cars and tell you all about them. Today, a prospect turns up armed with print outs and specs about the cars they are interested in, HP checks and information about competitor models where they are visiting next.

This is the same for mobile phones, software, B2B products and services – almost anything can be checked out, read up on and verified due to the internet.

So the modern day buyer is more informed than their predecessors and you need to know and appreciate that fact.

REASON # 2 is that they are far more sales savvy then ever before.

A lot of them have even read the same books as you and have been on the same courses as you too. You also need to remember that they have been SOLD TO more often than a lot of sales people have actually sold especially in a business 2 business environment.

So they know the tricks, they know the process that you might go through and they are tired of the same old bull.

You’ve also got to appreciate that a lot of today’s buyers also need to know techniques about selling too.

Whether that be selling ideas internally, selling themselves or whether they sell a product too – this type of knowledge is becoming a must-have in today’s commercial world.

REASON # 3 is that the modern day buyer understands that the balance of power has changed – no longer do they have to hang on every word that you say. Quite simply put it has become a buyers market.

They know that they can find alternatives to what you offer very quickly, they know that they can play you off against other suppliers and they’ll demand more value at a lower price all of the time.

REASON # 4 is the fear of failure.

The damage that might occur to their career, their self esteem and their standing in the company if they select the wrong product or service is more prevalent now that at any time in history and it’s important to bare that in mind when you sell.
That’s why there are so many committee decisions these days.

A lot of buyers have to also get internal buy in and input from other parts in their business before a decision is made so you might often find yourself talking to a number of different people before a decision is made.

REASON # 5 is the state of the economy. A lot of your buyers will use this excuse even if it does not affect them directly. They’ll use it to squeeze the life out of your prices, to play games with you and to stall on decisions.

You know, it’s very important to understand the modern buyer of today because the old sales tactics of yesteryear are simply less effective with them nowadays than they once were.

So my take away action for you is this: think about how you are currently selling to the modern day buyer in light of what I’ve covered.

What can you do differently to all of the rest of the sales people out there?

You know, sometimes you don’t even need to be better to get the business, sometimes you just need to be different.

Sure, you’ll get some buyers who don’t do any of what I’ve said during this session but the tide is turning and it’s turning fast and when you do come across a sophisticated and sales savvy buyer, you’ll need to have a different approach to make them sign on the dotted line.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 6 February, 2009

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