In working with hundreds of salespeople and their leaders, they tell us they find it more difficult than ever to get time with buyers whose main focus seems to be price.
Your challenge is to engage with a buyer early in their decision-making process and demonstrate your value.
How do you do that?
Let’s hear what the buyer has to say about that.
In our webinar called “Cracking the Buyer’s Code – Having Purposeful Business Conversations with Buyers”, we were joined by four buyers from different industries with varying degrees of experience – from the perspective of a millennial all the way to a buyer with thirty years of experience under his belt.
Here are the top five takeaways you need to know to go beyond price and get that coveted buyer loyalty!
1. Preparation Is Key
Buyers are consumers first. That means they expect the same level of personalization from you that they get from their favourite online store that knows their preferences very well.
Their experiences as a consumer impact their decisions as a buyer so you need to do research in advance.
You need to:
- Know the buyer and their business. Research the industry needs, the challenges in the marketplace and how your product can provide profitable solutions specifically for them.
- Know what you’re selling. That means, know the product differentiators, its rank among competitors, and product brand expansion in the overall market.
- Know who you work for. That includes the company’s background, management structure, and where it fits in the marketplace.
2. Give Them What They Want
In a recent study by CSO Insights on the divide between buyers and sellers in B2B sales, only 31.8% of sellers were exceeding buyer expectations.
Determining what buyers wanted was the major focus of our webinar and our panelists had a lot to say on this topic.
Our buyers agreed that they want to see:
- a cost margin that is accretive to their business
- a unique product that is different from the current assortment
- a compelling costing structure and business plan for the item
- a plan to expand the category (and not just build your business)
- a product offering that compliments the current product line
- knowledge of market trends
- seller being open to collaboration in developing a merchandising plan
Bottom line: Show the buyer the right product for their customer base at the right price with a comprehensive plan including a short-term and long-term vision to back it up.
3. The Competitive Edge
Sometimes it comes down to you and another seller. Problem is, you both match on price. What will give you that competitive edge to get the sale?
As it turns out, while price will always be an important component, it is rarely the determining factor.
Our buyers agreed that the seller who is the easiest to work with and the most prepared will get the sale.
That means not only the right product at the right price, but also good sales coverage at store level, a solid marketing program, effective distribution backed by research that keeps the buyer and their category on trend, and the seller’s continued commitment to the vision.
Bottom line: The less work the buyer has to do on their end, the more valuable you’ll be to the buyer.
4. Make it Easy by Offering a Compelling Reason to Meet
Our busy panelists shared that they grant meetings to only three to 10 sellers of the 20 to 150+ meeting requests they receive weekly. With numbers like that, you must convey your value in every moment of that hard-earned meeting.
Our panelists consented that a seller was perceived as easy to work with when:
- they brought ideas to the table;
- shaped vision; and,
- made them aware of solutions they hadn’t considered.
And – bonus points for asking how you can make things easier for the buyer! Be a resource for them!
Bottom line: Present your content in a clear, concise manner so that everything is sufficiently covered within the meeting timeframe.
5. Gaining Buyer Loyalty with Post Sale Follow-through
Buyers today want sellers to show commitment to the continued success of the product they are selling.
Bottom line: If you act like a trusted business partner, you will be treated that way!
If you want to move beyond the label of approved seller to one of trusted business partner, you must adopt a consultative business approach to sales.
There area range of choices to be made before a buyer makes a final decision. The sooner you can engage a buyer to assist in identifying and prioritizing those needs, the easier it is to illustrate your value.
Thought Provoking Question: How can you use your insight and experience to structure a vision for their business to create a mutually beneficial relationship?
Teneo’s challenge: Meet with your sales leader and discuss how you will position your offering so it’s less focused on price and more focused on value that will help your buyer be more profitable and efficient. Be prepared to share this with your buyer at your next meeting.
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.