I’ve been in the buyer’s seat a lot lately. For our consulting firm, we’re looking for a new IT vendor, new equipment, graphic services, and specific supplies to support our training courses.
It’s been fascinating to be sold to. Or rather I should say it’s been fascinating having sellers attempt to sell to me.
I want to believe that sales professionalism has evolved. I want to believe that at this time, everyone “gets” that the buyer matters most in the sales conversations. Yet, that isn’t what I’ve experienced.
These are 3 very bad sales behaviors I have observed in just the last week.
- Pitching at me. Without context of whether the information, service, or product would be of interest to me, a premature presentation of what you do nearly always kills the sale.
- Not listening. This of course starts with not asking any questions that would lead to a meaningful conversation or chance for me to even respond or explain anything about our situation that would be helpful in selling to me.
- A “close” that makes me feel stupid if I don’t decide to work with them. In essence they said, “Well, that’s what we do and why we’re the best. If you don’t want to work with us, you’ll be the one who pays for it. We have plenty of other people who want to work with us.”
What do I want as a buyer?
- To first be understood. To be asked questions that allow me to explain what I am looking to accomplish, what I want to avoid, the process that will work for our unique company (ALL companies are unique in some way), my timing, my fears, and what value will make me jump up and say, “We’re in!”
- A seller to connect what they offer to what it means for me! I don’t want to have to read between the lines and figure it out. Make it easy for me to see how what you have or do matters to me.
- My time used well. Don’t bore me or bog me down with information that is irrelevant to me, my situation, and my future. Clarify the agenda at the beginning of the conversation and make sure that what I want to cover is outlined.
- Timely and complete follow-up. Let me know you valued my time, confirm the highlights of the conversation, send the information you promised within 24 hours.
It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Make the sales process about the buyer, do your research, be deliberate in your fact-finding during the conversation, and don’t jump into a premature presentation or explanation of what you have or do. Good sales behaviors help me buy what you sell!