Buyers have always been in control
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Buyers have always been in control
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
I have a couple of annoyances. There are phrases popping up that sound kinda
cool, but are absolutely meaningless. Or should I say, they don’t mean what they
are meant to mean. One of my annoyances is about the buying decision journey. If
I read the words ‘each stage of the buyer life-cycle’ one more time I’ll scream.
Everyone seems to believe they understand how buyer’s buy. The stages? Have a
need; seek a solution. Really? There are dozens of actions, decisions, and
stages between ‘need’ and seeking a purchase.
BUYERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN IN CONTROL
When folks are talking about this, they really mean: “each stage of the
solution-focused end of the buyer’s movements that we can track” because there
is no marketing automation capability now in place to manage the entire buying
decision journey. And goodness knows, we have no clue as to what’s really going
on that we can’t see, like those behind-the-scenes issues that always crop up
with internal politics and with old vendors. That’s why we have no more than a
10% close rate no matter what form of sales we’re applying.
Next: What makes you think that buyers are now in control because they can
peruse the net and discover a full range of choices and all the data they need
to feed their curiosity? Listen up, folks: Buyers have always been in control.
He or She who writes – or withholds – check is in control. Period. No check, No
Oh, I know you think that because you were able to discuss features and
functions (such as this) that you had some control. Or because you understood
’need’. Or because you made nice and had a great relationship and thought that
they liked you so much that they’d choose you.
But did they choose you? They liked you, liked your solution, found your
solution helpful and cool. But did you know the other vendors they’re talking
to? Did you know who was on the Buying Decision Team? Did you know what role
their regular vendor is playing?
SOME HARD REALITY
Let’s take a hard look at this.
1. Buyers will never buy until or unless they have their entire Buying
Decision Team lined up and in agreement.
Are we there when they do this? How do they get the right people on board?
How do they get them to agree to a change/new vendor/new solution? We don’t have
a clue. And our technology – the way it’s operating at the moment – has no way
of knowing any of this. It’s a mystery to us right now.
2. Until they know what to do with their status quo so that any disruption
will be managed appropriately, they won’t buy.
This is simple systems thinking. Systems (and our buyers live in
teams/groups/companies – all of which are systems that follow their own unique
rules) do this thing called Homeostasis: they seek balance, and won’t change
until balance is assured. This is where your buyers go when they don’t buy.
3. Until all parts/pieces/people that touch the ultimate solution know how to
shift, act, add, collaborate, reorganize, etc. they will not buy.
The cost of change is far too high: the fallout would damage the system. It’s
‘cheaper’ to maintain the status quo, regardless of the need.
So tell me now: what sort of control do buyers have now that they didn’t have
before? They know more details about your solution and other competitive
choices. They can read about more possibilities and find others who are using
your solution. They are more active, more knowledgeable. They don’t need the
sales person as much.
But that doesn’t mean they do their buy-in/change journey differently.
At the end of the day, until or unless the buyer gives you a check that
cashes, you haven’t sold anything. She or He who writes check has control. End
Or consider purchasing
the bundle: Dirty Little Secrets plus my last book Buying
Facilitation?: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions.
These books were written to be read together, as they offer the full complement
of concepts to help you learn and understand Buying Facilitation? - the new
skill set that gives you the ability to lead buyers through their buying
Contributor: Sharon Drew Morgen
Published here on: 21-Nov-20