Written by Sean McPheat |
What if your prospect isn’t the end-user?
As a B2B sales professional, it often happens that the buyer, the person actually making the final decision, will not be the end user of your product or services. And yet they have to make decisions that the end-users have to live with for months, even years.
It’s important to know how your products are used so you can sell them most effectively.
Often, the buyer will have an idea of what the end users are looking for, but their buying criteria (the basis on which they judge the suitability of the product) may be on a different level to the end users. And it’s these end-users who can give you important information that can lead to the sale.
Let’s say you’re selling photocopiers, and you’re targeting a firm that you know would benefit from your products. You could concentrate simply on the buyer, asking them questions about what they want in a photocopier.
Or you could contact some of the office staff who actually use it every day, and ask what they like best about their current model and what they like least. Ask them if there is anything they would like to change about the model, if they could.
This information would give you a different perspective on the sale. It would give you the ability to discuss user needs and wants, ideas that the buyer may not have considered. Naturally, you have to be aware of the political and logistical aspects of this, but it may show the prospective buyer that you have done your homework and will show her how to look good in her end-user’s eyes.
It also gives you hands-on experience of what users are really looking for from your products and services. You can then pass on this very valuable information to your prospect, as it may be that she hasn’t asked the end users for their views. This way, you’re helping to facilitate the buying process. That can only result in progress in the sale.
Originally published: 23 June, 2010
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