Far too many forget that buyers want to buy. Buying literally physically feels good. It allows the buyer to realize their control in the relationship, and it allows them to acknowledge and reward the salesperson- their partner in the relationship- who has put in their time and work with the buyer. But, the reality is that most of the time buyers can’t buy. This conundrum and understanding how to release the pressure off of it is a huge part of the craft of selling.
Understanding this ‘guilt pressure’ is key. And being successful requires finding ways to change the terms of the relationship to release this pressure. What does this all mean?
Most buyers are handicapped by two things: time and budget. In time, especially with the way in which the internet has allowed markets to expand incredibly, buyers simply don’t have enough time to shop. Even if they have a great relationship with a salesperson, they rarely have enough time to give to allow that salesperson to show them all of the products and services they have. So, release this pressure. Don’t ask to show them all of your products and services in one meeting. Ask to show them 1-3 products- that’s it. Don’t eliminate your ask of time- restructure your ask to fit the buyer’s schedule. Acknowledge to the buyer that you understand that they don’t have time (ie- release the time guilt), and confirm that you want to be in and out, and keep your presentation quick! And by doing so, make those offerings very custom. Understand and respect the buyer’s time, and then over deliver on that time with incredible product offerings. And then ask to do the it again, and again…small chunks of time, each time.
And additionally, most buyers rarely have the dream budget they wish they had. Most have to pass on many buys, not because they don’t like the product, but because they are hindered by a monthly or quarterly budget. And so, don’t ask the buyer to buy all of your products in one buy. Like time, offer to cut the buys up into smaller buys, spread out over time, in order to honor their product flow and their cashflow. Work with them to understand a digest-able schedule that works for them (and for you), and implement that so that they can buy, yet they respect the business they are buying for…ie, release the budget guilt and allow them to buy.
To do all of this, one thing has to happen- you must constantly be asking intelligent questions that allow you to understand how the buyer’s business works. And when I write ‘business works’, I mean how their business sells. Most salespeople make the mistake of asking what a buyer is looking to buy; don’t do this. Inquire as to what the business sells- work backwards from there. So, questions like…How does their business move a lot of product. What is a perfect product for them to move quickly. What is a core product for them, something that they stock? What is an opportunity product for them- something that comes around once in awhile, but they jump on it to sell it because it’s a good deal for their business? Your questions and inquiries should all be centered around understanding these flows. And don’t feel guilty about asking and even prying…you’re data-mining so that you can understand your client’s business, and thus bring them new product which they can then easily turn around and sell and make money.
Releasing guilt starts with aligning yourself as a partner in your buyer’s businesses. You are not a salesperson- you are working with buyers in business development. You are an advisor. You are a consultant. And as such, you are working with them over a long stretch of time. Understand that, and release the guilt pressure, so that your business can grow alongside your buyer’s business.