We're doing this series of episodes and interviews to understand what's really going on behind the buyers' eyes in mind. How do the things that we do as salespeople influence their buying decisions? How does it impact even the perception of sales? So I spend too much time going on Google and LinkedIn and searching for bad buying experiences.
And that's how I came across our guest today, Jeff Peterson. He is the sales manager at Spin Linen Management, and he had written an article about a buying experience. One that I'm sure we can all relate to.
Tell me a little bit about this buying experience that you had. What is it that you were trying to purchase?
Sure. The risk would be a total cliche. I was trying to buy a car, which has led to many unpleasant buying experiences. Mine was no different. And as you mentioned, as somebody who's been in sales, I'm always thinking about what I could have done better in my own job. And so when I make a buying scenario, I also think about what would have made my buying experience better. So that's really where the article came from.
Yeah, and we've all had that experience --trying to buy a car. I have one that I wrote about in my book. I call it "It's my job to move metal." Sales and buying have changed so much. But here is an industry that has mostly stayed the same about how they do things.
And while we work in B2B or in B2B spaces where we're selling at a professional level, we often discredit or don't give enough influence to how our personal buying experiences in our personal lives influence not only our perception of sales but also how we view salespeople in our professional part. Let's dig into your buying experience for this car.
How did you go about your process? What were your first steps to deciding what you wanted to get?
Like, many buyers these days, it started with the Internet and just doing a little research. And since this was a company vehicle, I was given a budget to adhere to, which, again, many buyers haven't started with; okay, what's the maximum I'm going to spend? What are the features and benefits that are important to me? And I work backward from there.
And I ask, what would fit these criteria for the right price? Which led me to narrow in on one or two. At that point, I probably did a couple of hours of research before I even reached out to a potential seller to engage them. I did my homework and arrived at my own conclusions. And from there, I was like, okay. It's time to enlist the dealerships to bring this one home. And that's when it all ensued.
And this is, again, to the point that how we buy in our personal lives is also how we buy in our professional lives. Who has not heard these statistics from Gartner and Forrester and every other analytics company that talks about the percentage of people, how far they are in their buying process, and how much research they're doing online before they ever want to engage with the salesperson?
So you did your research. You wrote down what is needed, your criteria, and your budget, then what happened? What was most important to you in this process?
This is where my old perception came into play. Because considering by the time I had done this research and selected the vehicles that I wanted to narrow down to, this should be one of the easiest sales. Any car dealership, whatever. I know how much money I want to spend and the vehicle I want. I know the features I want. I know it's all feasible and doable. Why can't I find somebody just to give it to?
And so, being in sales, like we are in the B2B space, generally when somebody says, “Take my money”. You take it. Right?
Please. Take. My. Money.
So when you don't have that experience, you're just what is happening here? Like, why won’t somebody take my money? So, I reached out to --and no exaggeration, ten or eleven different dealerships. It was the other, I guess, democratizing force in all this. The Internet has allowed us to cast a wider net and certainly, in my time and skills and with my experience, which is about fifteen years, you're like, as become a much more of a thing.
Buyers are just more educated. And I see that all the time in my world. And I was one of those educated buyers. At that point, it was just, “Is somebody going to take my money”. And when nobody would, I was like, man, this is a flawed selling model, and then you start wondering, what would you do better or what would you do differently?
So I just wrote my article based on some of those conclusions.
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