Today’s Buyer: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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BuyerToday`s Buyer – who knew the simple act of trading money for products/services would be so complicated. Economic history is littered with countless ways of conducting proper transactions. We all love shopping (regardless of the product/service), but have you ever given thought to how you feel as a buyer when you go shopping? Psychologically, we’re the same as the people we sell to because we hate being sold.

Think about the last time you watched your favorite TV show. What did you do when the show paused for some commercials? I’m willing to bet that most of you changed the channel (unless it was the Super Bowl, of course). Why? Because we don’t want to be bombarded with the same messaging over and over again. From the advertiser’s perspective, it works because if a small percentage of us convert and become buyers, their ROI numbers start making sense. But even if 2% do convert, what about the 98% of us who have to suffer?

Mass advertising is really annoying. And so is mass cold calling.

This brings us to the good, bad and ugly of today’s buyer. Have a read to see if this sounds like your buyers today.

The Ugly

The best thing to happen for today’s buyer: the internet and social media. Now instead of being solely reliant on sales people for information, and being sold in the process, buyers can go online and have deep and meaningful conversations about anything without the pressure of being sold. They can get white papers, demos, read reviews, testimonials, you name it. They can basically size you up without you even knowing. Estimates vary but approximately 50% to 70% of the buying journey is now complete before a buyer even contacts a sales person.

The Bad

The bad thing about all of this is that the buyer is impatient and digitally driven.

Speed is everything! You won’t stand for a short 2 minute commercial break on TV. How do you expect a prospect to listen to your 30 second cold call pitch? The problem isn’t you (necessarily); it’s that there are a line-up people calling before and after you with similar messages. The buyer is tuning you out because they’re being smothered with unsolicited phone calls.

Because of social media and mobile connectivity, buyers expect information at an alarmingly fast rate. And they’re succeeding too. Buyers are digitally savvy and inspired to conduct due diligence behind the scenes without your knowledge (or so they think – more on that later). A few mouse clicks can open up the gates of knowledge never previously available.

In our own case, we frequently find that our buyers come to us through digital funnels and they’re fully aware of what we do, have talked to our past clients, and have consumed content before reaching out to us.

Furthermore, the buyer is now savings motivated. As a sales professional in this brave new world, expect your buyer to come armed to the teeth with the necessary knowledge to ask you (get ready for it) “Is that your best price?” And why shouldn’t they if we as sales professionals haven’t helped them or added anything valuable in their buying process?

Pricing and fulfillment discussions shouldn’t be your differentiators but because no value was added to the buyer’s life during research, that’s literally all you’re good for. I’d hate for my solution to be thought of as “the cheapest option” because it then sets the tone for all future business dealings with that buyer.

The GoodSocial Media Revolution

The good news in all of this is that you can do something. If you join the social selling revolution, you can stave off the attack by leveling out the playing field.

If your buyers are impatient, digitally driven and savings motivated, you can be online and help guide them in their buying journey. There are now countless success stories of sales professionals using social to their advantage. So the key here is not to give up, but to pivot and alter your course. The digital revolution may be upon us and that party is for all to attend (not just buyers).

The Bottom Line

Starting slowly but surely is one of the best ways to ensure you adopt some social selling into your daily routine. Social selling isn’t difficult; it’s just different.

To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine. For tips, tricks and more rants, we could always set-up a time to chat using my below schedule …

Amar Sheth

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