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People readily acknowledge that, like all work processes, the sales process is prone to inefficiencies and waste.
But many people assume that the real waste has to do with poor selling skills or that it lies in poor time or territory management, or that sub-par outcomes are due to competitors’ offerings, practices or increased activity.
And while there is certainly some truth to those assumptions, some of the biggest causes of lost revenue are frequently unrecognized, and are accepted as costs of doing business!
Read on for additional perspective…
What has worked best for you?
If you were asked to complete the sentence fragment in this article’s title with only one word, which word would you choose?
In other words, fill in the blank: Buyers Are _______________.
Based on our poll, a number of popular choices include – “Buyers are scarce.” “Buyers are savvy.” “Buyers are cautious.” “Buyers are beautiful,” and “Buyers are gold.” [Click here to see top 10 answers]
However, in the midst of a casual conversation among acquaintances, a veteran sales person recently stated an option I had neither considered nor heard before.
“Buyers are liars,” he said!
When asked to explain his view, he went on to say that “Buyers are liars because they don’t tell you what they’re looking for… what they really want; or, they tell you what they want and then go and buy something different from someone else.”
Despite the rep’s experiences with those he perceives as less-than-forthcoming buyers, the simple fact is that “buyers” are not responsible for defining their needs. In fact, it is the “seller’s” responsibility to assess each potential buyer’s needs.
People are often unaware of all available options and, in many cases, have not properly assessed their own needs. The reasons for this vary – it could be a simple matter of convenience – as opposed to reading the “small print” – or that the product or service being considered is complex, as in the case of medicine, medical treatment or legal advice. Without the help of those “selling” these solutions, it is highly unlikely that a consumer would be capable of properly assessing his or her options and making a prudent choice.
Nearly every product or service has relevant features, benefits or nuances that need to be presented by an educated source (seller) in order for the buyer to make a truly informed decision. In fact, a good rule of thumb for any sales professional who aspires to truly differentiate themselves while best serving customers is to never assume the customer has a sufficient amount of information to make the best decision.
But please note the use of the word “relevant” in the above paragraph! The first step for every seller is to assess and confirm needs before presenting features, benefits or solutions.
“You can never trust that buyers have enough information,” one real estate professional said. “As a prudent seller you must assess and educate.”
We couldn’t agree more!
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