A salespersons’ biggest competitor today is not the business down the road or the salesperson sitting in his Porsche around the corner – it is a little word called ‘MAYBE’.
The status quo is what most salespeople today are grappling with and that means change, on so many levels. That means that salespeople aren’t selling widgets, they are in fact selling change. They are selling an intangible. But then they always have, haven’t they? Dressed up as a widget.
And when a salesperson comes knocking and begins to talk about the specifics of their widget, the customer goes to ground. Too many specifics in any conversation affects the level of rapport or trust with anyone, if not requested.
Sure, there might be some slight curiosity about the solution you have to their inconvenient and expensive problems but is it enough to make them get out their pen and sign your contract? Probably not!
3 of the major fears your customers have today, include :
A Fear of Change – what will buying from you mean for them? Some are so used to the same contacts, the same relationships, the same routine. what will it mean by introducing new systems, new procedures and new people into their ever changing and overwhelmingly busy world? Find out what they both want AND don’t want in a supplier relationship.
A Fear Of Making A Mistake – What impact would making a mistake have on your buyer. When you consider the average lifespan of a CIO, for example, is three years, it makes good sense that he or she would want to protect that position. In this case, the direct impact of a purchasing decision will have huge ramifications on this decision maker and their world. Find out how your buyers are measured and figure out how you can meet their need for security and certainty whilst helping them shift from the status quo.
Fear Of Internal Backlash – It is so easy for customers to ‘go to the board’ or ‘run it past the committee.’ Answering ‘maybe’ allows them to remain in a state of control. It buys thinking time and allows them to have others share the responsibility. How can you create new relationships with these other stakeholders and help simplify what could be a complex scenario. How many times have you wanted to ‘check something out with someone’ before you committed and what drove that decision. It is an unwillingness to commit and price usually has nothing to do with it.
By understanding the driving force beneath the feedback you are given, think again about the value your solution really provides to alleviate any of these fears. Build trust with your buyers and strengthen their level of confidence in you and they will choose you over your competition, quicken their decision making process and they will feel safe in their choice.
Here’s a couple of ways to bust their fears :
- From a process perspective, offer extra value. Create new processes or blueprint existing processes that demonstrate the benefits of change and do that FOR Provide assessments, do customer surveys, provide empirical data which will validate your offering and their decision.
- From a personal perspective, create an experience. Moments of truth, behaviour that makes them go WOW! and articulated purpose that is heartfelt are all intangibles that are so important to a valued relationship.
These are the little things that are the big things – the differences that makes the difference.
The opposite of FEAR is not hate as most people think, it is LOVE… an interesting piece of trivia that may provide a moment of reflective thought in moving our clients up the value ladder.
Be Bold and Brilliant!