24 Aug

Understanding the Buyer’s Perspective

During one of my travels, I had the opportunity to engage in a fascinating conversation about sales with an individual I met. While waiting for my flight at the airport, I struck up a conversation with a young man who appeared to be traveling for work, dressed in a sharp suit and equipped with a laptop. Curiosity got the better of me, and I inquired if he was attending the same business event as I was. As it turned out, he wasn’t. However, as our conversation progressed, he confided in me about his struggles as a newcomer in the sales industry and his aspirations for success.

In light of this, I offered him some advice that I believe holds great significance in the realm of selling: understanding the buyer’s perspective. Selling is intricately tied to comprehending what the customer desires, what they are willing to invest in, and ultimately sealing the deal, provided that you can offer the product or service they seek. However, this process is far from straightforward. If it were as simple as that, the need for salespeople would cease to exist, as buyers could obtain everything they require from automated machines.

Many buyers embark on their purchasing journey with only a vague notion of their needs. It is the responsibility of the salesperson to transform this vagueness into clear-cut solutions. Furthermore, they must bear in mind that the buyer is seeking the optimal solution for their requirements, delivered in a manner that is both effective and enjoyable.

Recognizing that buyers are multifaceted individuals who meticulously weigh the pros and cons of potential purchases is crucial. While some considerations may be openly shared with the seller, others remain unspoken. Navigating the unexpressed thoughts of the buyer and guiding them towards a satisfying conclusion is a complex and intricate task that falls upon the capable shoulders of a skilled sales professional.

In this era of heightened consumer awareness and digital empowerment, it is crucial to understand the buyer’s perspective from a blend of traditional acumen and contemporary insights.

The concept of the sales clock, as explained by my friend Brian Roach, a computer technology expert, sheds light on the waiting period after submitting a proposal. As a seller, you eagerly await the customer’s decision, uncertain of whether you are being ignored or if they are simply overwhelmed with other priorities. This waiting period can be stressful, and it is important to avoid letting your own stress negatively impact your prospect.

Brian emphasizes the importance of putting the customer first, as they are the ultimate buyer. However, sellers also have their own goals to meet, such as earning a wage or commission, achieving monthly targets, and managing their workload effectively. In today’s digitally connected world, the sales clock not only measures time in hours but also encompasses the real-time interactions that take place across various digital platforms.

Sellers must now navigate the complexities of this digitally connected landscape. The customer’s perspective is shaped by instant responses, personalized interactions, and the seamless integration of online and offline experiences. Brian’s sales clock serves as a reminder to consider both the customer’s perspective and the demands placed on sellers in each sales scenario.

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To gain insight into the customer’s perspective, I have devised strategies to help you, as the seller, determine if the buyer is intentionally delaying or simply occupied with other important matters. Additionally, I will share effective communication techniques that will enable you to understand and connect with the customer on a deeper level.

Attentive Listening:
An essential aspect is to actively listen to the customer without preemptively formulating your response. By focusing on their words and body language, you can discern whether they are genuinely disinterested or preoccupied with other concerns.

Understanding Behavioral Styles:
Acquiring knowledge about different behavioral styles empowers you to tailor your sales interactions to suit the client’s preferred mode of communication. People appreciate being approached in a manner that feels familiar to them, and this allows you to customize your sales approach for each individual.

Product Presentation:
The way you present your product plays a significant role in the success of a sale. Andy Bounds, a renowned sales communication expert, emphasizes that most commonly delivered product presentations fail to capture the prospect’s true interest. Instead, the prospect is primarily concerned with their own present and future.

To address this, Andy advises focusing on how the product will benefit the customer rather than solely highlighting its features. He suggests using customer-oriented questions such as, “What are your goals after our collaboration?” or “What would define success for you as a result of this project?” By keeping the product presentation centered around the customer’s needs, you can create a more impactful and persuasive sales pitch.

It is important to acknowledge that nothing works flawlessly all the time. In order to meet the customer’s primary concerns, it is essential to be able to interpret their buying signals accurately and make necessary adjustments.

In the realm of sales, skilled professionals are able to blend scientific knowledge with interpersonal strategies to create an exceptional buying experience for customers, all while maximizing their own earnings.

As a business professional, your goal is to provide customers with a positive buying experience that is both seamless and memorable. The timing of your interactions with customers remains crucial, and it is imperative to master these strategies and techniques in order to effectively cater to the needs of today’s customers by understanding and respecting their perspective. SOURCE: Dr. Ivan Misner