I see this issue often: A salesperson engages their buyer a couple times, getting a feel for their business and needs, and quickly responds by spewing a scripted pitch, focusing solely on landing a deal. They wonder, after their buyer passes on their “solution,” what went wrong.
Even though buyers might look and sound like one another does not mean that they are well-served with the same solutions — or when examined closer, even similar at all.
According to Forrester, only 27% of buyers believe salespeople are knowledgeable about the buyer’s specific business.
That means 73% of buyers see salespeople as product pushers, not as individuals who can — and care to — solve their problems. In today’s business world, sellers must dive deeper to understand specific struggles in order to deliver unique and valuable solutions. In doing so, salespeople become trusted advisors and valuable resources to their buyers.
1. See your buyer’s pains through their perspective.
Sellers need to know more than a person’s job title and wife’s name. They need to spend enough time with their buyers — quality time either on the phone or in-person — to understand the intricate details of the buyer’s business, motivations and needs.
Ask your buyer about their everyday operations. Engage your buyer in relevant, meaningful dialogues. Walk in their shoes and understand their world. What issues keep cropping up? Learn the specifics.
If you have a buyer who tells you, “Every day at 11 a.m. I get this report that’s missing these three vital components…” take note of those and help your buyer find a solution.
Do you know your buyer well enough? Ask yourself these questions to see.
- What does a day in the life of your buyer look like?
- How does your buyer’s job function within his/her overall department? The overall division? The overall organization? What ripple effect do their issues have in the hierarchy?
- What worries are top-of-mind for your buyer that they want to fix, accomplish and/or avoid? How can you help alleviate these?
- What motivates your buyer? Saving their company money? Beating the competition? Serving their peers and leadership? Making more money?
- What are your buyer’s goals? What are your buyer’s company’s objectives? How can you help them reach or better yet exceed these?
2. Deliver your buyer a solution — not a product.
At Mereo, our mindset always comes back to this core tenet: seek to serve, not to sell™. Once you have gained your buyer’s perspective and gotten into their mindset, you can begin to see solutions from their point of view and how they can apply to their world. You can see the true value behind products and services, and you can help your buyer understand how these solutions can serve them.
Are you serving your clients instead of selling to them? Ask yourself these questions as you review your solutions.
- Will this solution help my buyer do their job better?
- Will this solution help my buyer better serve their boss, team, co-workers and/or customers?
- Will this solution make my buyer’s life easier?
3. Follow up often to review their gains.
For me, business has always been about more than dollar signs. When I work closely with people, I come to truly care about their wants, needs and desires. As such, it is important to maintain a close relationship with your buyer even beyond selling a valuable solution. This allows you to review the impact of your solutions and to evolve your understanding of your buyer’s world as it changes.
Did your solution truly serve your buyer? Ask your buyer these questions to know.
- What were the tangible outcomes after the solution was implemented?
- Did you have any issues with incorporating or maintaining the solution? Why?
- What did your business gain with this solution?
- Did you reach your goals? Why/why not? What can be done to refine those outcomes?
- What could have improved the solution on your end?
Taking these three simple steps, and asking these suggested questions will help you better understand your buyer, allowing you to serve them and other buyers down the road.
Need help getting in the mind of your buyers? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.