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Why you need #buyerfirst sellers, like yesterday

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 6/7/22 7:15 AM

At the end of the day, the buyers are the ones that make the rule.

"What is the best way to hire sellers, who will work best with our buyers?" Now, this is a question that I hear quite often. 

We heard the stat before about how the number one thing that buyers want from sellers is the ability to actively listen to them. But it's the last thing that managers are looking for. So let's start there. Let's start with understanding what type of characteristics and mindsets are going to be demanded by our buyers.

Unfortunately, a lot of the hiring that happens today is very subjective.

We have a certain type of person in mind: an athlete or professional performer, someone who's competitive. We take into account the things that we think that they need to be doing in order to be good in the role, but we don't always take into account the things that our buyers need from our sellers.

At the end of the day, the buyers are the ones that make the rule.

You remember the Golden Rule. He who has the gold makes all the rules. Okay. That's the new Golden Rule. So when we apply that to hiring:

  • We have to understand how our buyer is going to react to our sellers.
    • And how are they going to react in the market that they're in?
  • Or on the problem that they're trying to solve that we help them with.
    • And based on what other competition is saying to them.
  • What is the environment that is going to be happening right now?
    • And then based on that environment, what are some of the characteristics that we need our sellers to have to be able to work through those?

So, for example:

  • is your market highly competitive?
    • Most are.
  • Is your buyer resistant to the idea of making a change?
    • Most are.
  • Is your seller trying to convince someone why they should choose you?
    • Or is your seller trying to convince someone why they should do anything?

These are just a few of the questions out of the 34 plus questions that I ask in order to create an ideal seller profile that aligns with who your buyer is. Before you can do that, you've got to have an idea of who your ideal buyer is and what their buying process is like. And what their communication styles are in order for you to be able to then draft an ideal seller profile that will work with that, align with that, and actually go well with that together.

So the first step is to create your ideal customer profile.

Some people call these “buyer personas”. That's what I call them.

Oh, and I have a book for you for that. It is called “Waiting For Your Cat To Bark?”, by Jeffrey and Brian Eisenberg. It was actually one of the first books that I read on marketing out of college. Because what they talk about is how people prefer to buy online. They actually wrote this book back in the early days of Amazon when it was just a bookstore.

So I highly recommend this book first to start thinking about the brain science behind how people make decisions to buy.

The other thing that I would also check out is B2B Decision Labs, which has actual neuroscience studies behind how people make their buying decisions today.

The book will help you to create a profile of the style that your buyer has. So that you can then line that up. Now that we know who our buyer is, what kind of a seller do we need?

So for example, is your seller going to be working directly with C-suite executives. Then, they have to be able to tell a business case story. They have to be able to overcome resistance from stubborn CEOs and C-level executives who are facing a lot of risks.

There are certain communication styles that your sellers are going to need.

But there are mindsets and skill sets and aptitudes that you can measure to determine:

  • Do they know what to do?
  • Can they do it?
  • Will those sellers actually do it at the moment that they need to?

So, start first with your buyer profile, and then line that up with your ideal seller profile.

There's another thing that I recommend to those who are hiring. And that is to use an objective sales-specific assessment. You want to determine if those sellers that you're going to be interviewing have the actual aptitudes to be successful in the role.

Because the last thing that you want is to try and fit a square peg into a round hole based on your own subjective biases of how successful you think someone might be.

This way, you're using science and data to find the right fits for yourself and for your buyers.

Excerpt from the April 2022 #BuyerFirst Ask Me Anything with Carole Mahoney


And ask her anything about how to shift our mindsets, develop the skillsets, and align how we sell with buyers.register here

Topics: buyer personas, sales performance, sales hiring