Some readers will look at this title, thinking, “Here Dave goes, getting all philosophical on us….” But, if we are to succeed as sellers, it probably pays for us to better understand buyers.
We know all sorts of things that go on in buyer’s minds. Lately, we’ve heard a lot about FOMO and FOMU. We know buyers struggle with deciding, they struggle in their buying groups in reaching/maintaining consensus. We know they struggle to make sense of the conflicting information that deluges them through their buying process. We know decision confidence is a huge concern. We know, after they have made a decision, most often they struggle with remorse; did they choose wisely?
While B2B buying is a group consensus process, the struggles buyers have are, more often, individual and personal. How will they be viewed? What if they make a mistake? How does the decision contribute to their personal goals?
It’s interesting to contrast the issues and struggles buyers go through, with the way sellers respond to these.
The struggles have less to do with choosing what to buy, yet sellers tend to focus on what they are selling. Rather than understanding what buyers struggle with, working with them to improve the understanding, we are unable to have the conversations that are most important and stand in the way of building their confidence.
Instead of responding to buyers as human beings and recognizing how they struggle with what they are doing, we tend to choose to dehumanize the process. We don’t get to know who they are as people, we don’t understand what drives them, what they aspire to, what they fear. We don’t take the time to build relationships and trust. We view the process as a transaction, moving the customer from person to person on our sales assembly lines. We automate our engagement processes focusing more on our efficiency, than building confidence with the customer. We focus on our success, failing to empathize with the customer and showing that we care.
But none of this is new!
We’ve known it for years. And every year, we get more research and data confirming this. And our customers tell us this, hoping we will respond.
What’s crazy to me is that despite knowing this and seeing it reaffirmed year after year, we don’t choose to change. We want to connect with and engage our prospects/customer, but we don’t engage them on the things most important to them. And, ironically, it’s what stand in the way of our ability to achieve our own goals.
This is just insanity.
The good news, a small number of organizations recognize this and design their engagement processes around what the customer needs. Year after year, they outperform every other organization, not because they have better solutions, but because they know that buying is human, so the sell as humans.