Selling is Harder Today
Before meeting a buyer, you, your company and product have been checked out, compared and critiqued…..thanks to the internet and social media. Points of view from experts, influencers, peers and friends support or criticize what your startup is all about. Buyers read if changing is worth the effort and costs. Buyers gauge how big is the problem and how valuable is the solution.
Buyers today are extremely busy and they will decide if you get to meet. Lives today are more complex, fast-paced, interrupted and demanding with packed schedules. Buyers resist wasting their time on something not right for them.
Surrounded by information and expanding choices encourages buyers to change only if it suites them. Novel solutions are happening all the time. If what they want is missing today, just wait and their unmet desire will soon be addressed.
Nobody likes to be sold. Being sold suggests being manipulated. Tapping the internet and social media, buyers can do a lot without sales people.
The Fear of Change
Buyers have more reasons to say no than to say yes.
- No trust, with disbelief, doubt and skepticism about claims and capabilities
- Risky doing business with a startup because most fail
- Incomplete, missing and needless features
Last and most important.
- Fear of change
A startup has a daunting list of reasons to overcome to get the sale.
Fortunately a sale is not made because of facts. A decision to buy happens when information is wrapped in emotion from someone trusted. Emotions are vital to making a decision.
The sale comes from a focus on the buyer as a person. Demonstrating your knowledge about their personal difficulties or emotional needs due to the current situation, combined with the risks of not changing, creates trust. Your novel solution is done on their behalf. The buyer said yes because:
- Made a personal connection
- Felt you ‘get them’ and understood the real problem
- Stimulated emotions and feelings of fear or opportunity
- Connected things in a new or novel way
Sales is About Relationships
Providing personal value has double the impact over providing business value.
Buyers are motivated to change by 6 key emotions.
Buyers avoid making a decision from fears of losing respect, personal credibility or job.
The Unique Selling Proposition is dead. 86% of B2B buyers don’t see a meaningful difference between solutions and are not willing to pay more. Commoditization rules.
In B2B purchasing, 57% of the purchase process is complete before a buyer talks to a supplier.
B2B brands have a closer personal connection then B2C brands because of perceived personal risks.
Charities who profile a person in their donation campaign receive 2X the donation $ vs. campaigns describing a population or group. People are moved to help ‘Suzie’ more than helping all the ‘Suzies’ of the world.
A lifetime of sales honed my skills at making personal connections and building trust.
- 3 years of consumer sales in the Plant Nursery and Garden Center industry.
- 31 years of enterprise sales at IBM in the information and technology industry.