Saturday, April 04, 2009

Adapt your Selling Style to Today’s Buyer Thinking

Buyer thinking has changed, forever. Pre-economic crisis buyer thinking rewarded relationship based selling. When the economy was strong, growing and things were relatively predictable, buyers rewarded continuity and business relationships.

Today Decision Makers are reassessing every spending and investment decision they make. They are looking for ways to reduce, delay or cancel purchases and investment decisions and they are seeking certainty that desired results will be achieved as planned. Maintaining a predominantly relationship focused sales approach will not cut much sway or add relevant value to buyers with a ‘spend less, delay or cancel’ mindset. To succeed in helping today’s buying decision makers you must move your style to a results focused approach.

3 Steps to Mastering Results-Focused Selling:

1. ‘Euroize/Dollarize’ the problem. Help your client to quantify the cost of his/her problem or lost opportunity by determining an approximate cost or financial benefit. This will allow the customer to prioritize their buying or investment decision and create a sense of urgency to take action. The rule is: the bigger the problem (€), the bigger the solution (€).

2. Use Creative Thinking (Divergent Thinking) Create a list. Work with your customer to draw up a list of as many possible ideas and actions that could minimize or resolve the problem and deliver the required outcomes. The goal is to capture the maximum number of possibilities without judging or eliminating any ideas. Target: Create a list of 20 possible solutions.

3. Use Critical Thinking (Convergent Thinking) Make a choice. In this phase of the process help the Decision Maker choose the best solution that meets his requirements: cost or investment, and delivers the desired results. Demonstrate how you can assure that the desired results will be realized? Provide value assurance by helping your customers achieve their desired results in a measured and predictable manner.

Relationship Based Selling is no longer a meaningful differentiator to buying decision makers in the post-crisis world. Buyers are looking for results and you must demonstrate that you are results-focused by helping them: 1) identify, 2) quantify and 3) deliver desired results. To succeed in tomorrow’s post-crisis business world you must become a Results-Focused Trusted Advisor.