Sales Training Article: Why Should Buyers Buy from You?

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Selling is a difficult profession. Most sellers earn the majority of their income from commission. Early on in my career I came to understand it was better to be concerned with meeting buyers’ needs rather than hitting quota and earning an adequate level of income.

We’ve all heard advice that we should walk in another person’s shoes in order to understand their actions and motivations. A question that I asked myself as a salesperson and later asked sellers and managers that reported to me was:

WHY should the decision maker buy?

Most sellers would agree executives want to be confident that they will achieve an adequate payback on their investment. Estimated costs minus estimated benefits represent the potential value that can be realized.

A glaring problem I see is that many sellers try to impose their wills by telling buyers how much will be saved.

Most buyers will take the “value proposition” savings and cut them in HALF because sellers are often guilty of hyping offerings.

Dependent upon the offering, some buyers will double costs because if any implementation effort is necessary, it always takes longer than expected. In such cases this means that sellers and buyers are off by a factor of 400%!

To change this dynamic, it’s necessary for sellers to:

1. Identify business metrics that are likely to improve.

2. Help buyers establish base lines (where they are pre-purchase).

3. Ask buyers to estimate the improvement they feel is possible. This is a place where sellers can use reference accounts that have achieved strong results, but it is important to allow the buyer to commit to a number that often will be less than what the reference account has achieved.

The biggest go/no-go decision in buying cycles is value/payback.

I think buyers and sellers would be better off if they worked on estimating potential payback BEFORE getting into product evaluations. Reality: The primary reason for losses due to “no decision” is inadequate value.