Different buyers, different styles and a different set of expectations each time.

How can you successfully navigate a challenge like that to earn more of your buyer’s business?

Recently, I had the opportunity to go on a ride-along with a few sellers from different industries to meet their buyers.

While the similarities between these sellers were few, their ultimate goal was the same: focus on the buyer’s business to help them make more money, make their job easier and make them look good.

You need to go further than filling their request for products for the current buy.

It requires a Purposeful Business Conversation.

We often see sellers shy away from initiating these conversations. We encourage our clients to ask the buyers about their businesses, such as where they are headed and future growth opportunities.

However, successfully engaging the buyer in this type of conversation can be easier said than done.

On my ride-along, I encountered three distinct buyer types that I am sharing with you so you can more easily initiate that all-important purposeful business conversation to reach your goal.

The first buyer type we encountered knew what he wanted. He was not shy about specifying his preferences and expectations, nor did he hesitate to tell us what it would take for a sales professional to move from good to great to gain more of his business.

The second group of buyers we met took a more relaxed approach to their meeting and they were eager to share what was happening in their business.

The third type of buyer tried to fit in a sales call wherever they could in their busy day.

These charts provide a detailed view of the different buyer types I met during my ride-along:

Buyer 1:

Meeting StagesTimingBuyer Environment
Strongly stated his expectations in:Set for 1 hourMade notes on paper during
the meeting to scan into
his system for future
reference and next steps
Meeting preparation by the sellerHard stop at 58 minutes when
his receptionist called to
say his next meeting had
He felt the use of laptops
during meetings showed a lack
of engagement and distraction
Required printed agenda,
provided in advance
Ended with a recap of next
steps and scheduled next
Face to face
Detailed proposal preferences


Buyer 2:

Meeting StagesTimingBuyer Environment
Two buyers and two sellers Set for 90 minutesTheir facility was completely paperless
Buyers were excited to discuss the future of their businessStarted off meeting the buyers and advised they had more timeNo business cards exchanged
Shared a PowerPoint presentation on their future growthMeeting went over by 70 minutesMade notes on laptops



Buyer 3:

Meeting StagesTimingBuyer Environment
Transactional5-10 minutes to meet with the seller, typicallyRetail/Counter Sales
Service-focused meetingsMeetings were fit in when they had time in their dayRetail/Counter Sales
Volume vs. Price to increase marginsAs a result of preparing an analysis in advance, the rep secured a longer meeting and with a senior decision maker who had the authority to make the necessary decisions. Rep secured a long-term program contractSpent more time with Service Manager & GM

During the meeting with the two buyers (Buyer Type 2), the sellers intentionally asked about their business. These buyers were excited to share where their company was headed and it created more clarity around the meeting – not to mention another million dollars in business opportunities for these sellers.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]Focus on your buyer’s business to help them make more money, make their job easier and make them look good. Click To Tweet

Similarly, the seller from the third ride-along shared how he was proactive in preparing a numbers analysis to demonstrate to the buyer how much money he could save if he purchased more product. This resulted in him earning a bigger sale.

However, in the first case (Buyer Type 1), the rep did not provide enough information and it was not laid out in the format the buyer wanted. The buyer informed the rep that in order for him to make a decision, the rep needed to return with the information the buyer asked for and in the format he requested.

Voila! Just like that, taking the initiative and engaging in purposeful business conversations can make money for you and your buyer.

How do you make the most out of conversations with your potential buyers? Let me know in the comments.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Lisa is driven by the mantra – Be Strategic. Be Pro-active. Be Brave. – and has been successfully training and coaching sales leaders and their teams to do the same for over 15 years. As the President of Teneo Results since 2003, she has trained thousands of sales professionals at more than 250 companies across North America. She transitions salespeople away from the standard “product & price” approach to having purposeful business conversations with their customers that drive results.

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