You’re a salesman, right? Surely you’ve heard it. Companies are doing their buying process themselves, without connecting to you. To know they are in a purchase process, you have call them; they never call you. But if you call, they don’t answer or get hung up.
And if you’re not in their loop, then you lose. Maybe, it doesn’t matter, since you always can win back. Anyhow, they increasingly regret their buying decisions.
Or, you may consider they’re all lying when they say they don’t need you.
According to new research, companies describe their complex-solutions purchase process as “hard”, “awful”, “painful”, “frustrating” or “minefield”. If they really describe their own selected purchase process in that manner, why do they decide not to involve you?
I think the reasons mainly are two:
- Companies believe they can manage a complex purchase themselves
- They think salesmen are too pushy
When companies think they are able to manage their purchase process themselves, they may think of the fact they have all information to make their decision. And certainly, they have. All information available on earth.
How efficient is that on a scale? The oceans of information make decisions almost impossible in first place. How to extract the right pieces of relevant information? How will they accomplish that? Maybe they perform another search on the internet, turn to their business and personal friends or industry colleagues for advice? That’s true.
According to the research, they increasingly involve more people to make their decisions. Two years ago, they involved 5.4 people to make a decision, but today 6.8. That’s more than two additional people!
Besides the cost to involve more people when decision-making, the time table for the final decision stretches a lot. According to the research, 65% of customers tell that they spent as much time as they’d expected to need for the entire purchase just getting ready to speak with a salesman. Isn’t that a waste of time, then?
Companies would be a lot more efficient making decisions with the expertise you as a salesman possess. So why do they not like to connect?
Then we come into #2. They think of salesmen as aggressive and too pushy, I believe. And I agree with that. After too many cold calls to me, trying to sell any- or something not relevant, I’ve decided just to hang up when a salesman call. Every now and then I let them answer my first objection: “What are you trying to sell to me?” before I’m clicking the red phone symbol. Because very few of them show any skill whatsoever being relevant to me, even if they do their pitch excellent.
What you should be aggressive about, is to find the potential customers’ need and pain. Do exactly as they do – use the net, social media, friends, colleagues and so on to really find what pains people are talking about. Don’t look for “hot” solutions – search for dire pains.
The pains are real stuff. They cost money. They impact margins and make competition harder. They affect growth plans. They let management heads roll. They are the mothers of multiple layoffs. They shut factories down.
That’s really painful. So look for full pains. No little. Because with no huge and awful pains, there will be no awesome solutions to sell.
The great thing is, that you are the skilled expert of such pains. If you are able to transform yourself from a seller to a helper, you will be the decision-makers’ best friend.
Because you answer when they call, you are the expert to talk to on social media. You addresses the pains to defined problems. You understand them and connect them to real solvers of exactly that problem and finally suggest solutions that enable the elimination of the pains.
So the truth is that companies still need you. But don’t get upset when they are lying they don’t.