Janice asked, “The research shows that buyers now have a preference for self-service. Is #buyerfirst giving them what they want?” Love this question.
Yes and no.
I hate that answer. My husband gives me that answer all the time and I'm like, "It can't be yes and no. It's one or the other". He's like, "Well, yes if it's this and no if it's that. So that's why I'm saying yes and no here".
So yes, buyers do have a preference for self-service. Actually, Gartner research showed that buyers prefer a rep-free experience where they can do it themselves. Unfortunately, the research also showed in that study that when they do that is that they have a higher percentage of purchase regret.
In other words, they aren't happy with the decisions that they made.
Buyers actually do want to talk with sellers*
There's more research out there that shows that buyers do wanna talk with sellers *when they can add value. Value being, “Tell me something I didn't already know about the problem I'm facing . Or something that I need to know in order to make the right decision”.
So do we give buyers what they want?
Only if what they want is going to actually give them the thing that they're ultimately going for.
We talk about timelines and milestones a lot in the selling process. And what happens is we have buyers who come to us and say, I need to see this implemented right away”. A lot of sellers then get happy ears like, “Oh, there's urgency here. We should definitely move as fast as we can on this”.
However, they don't pause to control their own emotions & ask some questions to dig into that:
"So when you say you want this installed right away, when are you thinking you'll need to see your results? And what kind of results are you looking for? And if you need to see those results in six months and don't, what happens? "
And then you work backward from there:
“So if you need to see results like that in six months, how long are you thinking implementation is going to take?”
That's where you can also share some information with them:
"You know, based on what we've done with other clients in a similar situation to you, we've actually seen the implementation time as X due to these factors. What's your plan for working through those?"
And you continue to not so much challenge their “I want it right away and I need to do this right away”. Instead, you're adding milestones and quantifiable specifics to that.
So that you can actually see --with them--collaboratively, “Does this make the most sense for you right now? And is it realistic that you can have that expectation right now?”
A #buyerfirst mindset means that selling isn't something we do To others. It's something we do WITH them. - Carole Mahoney
Sometimes, buyers want things because they've made an emotional decision on something that they want. Furthermore, they're trying to find some way to justify their emotional decision. And when they've already decided, it's really hard for us to convince them otherwise. Unless we can give them something that they didn't know before.
So do we give buyers just what they want?
If what they want is in line with what they need to get and how they need to get it. And they're going about it in the best possible way, then yes. But the answer is no if:
- The things that they want are gonna cause more problems for them later on.
- They set bad expectations for them and they're not gonna be happy
It's our ethical duty to push back and challenge them. Or say, "Maybe this isn't the right solution for you or maybe it's not the right time for you."
That’s hard to do when you have a quota to meet. But if you're truly putting your buyers first, that's exactly what needs to be done.
Until next time, keep learning and keep sharing out there. And together, we're gonna change how people view sales.
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