We see a lot of sales models changing in the new economy. There’s less selling going on. As a buyer you may have seen this happen. Now that you are glued to your iPhone or able to find anything you want, what do you do when buying a house or a car? It’s not uncommon for buyers to call a Realtor out of necessity and tell them the five houses they want to look at. They already found them and researched them. Trulia.com or realtor.com is right there. The Realtor is desperate to be called and chauffeur the buyer around.
Car dealers have business development teams that field calls via the web. Buyers are able to chat with three windows open and work pricing on vehicles between dealers before they commit to coming in. Edmunds.com makes it easy to compare vehicles and learn pricing. The sales teams are desperate to get a person to come visit.
An unimaginative business ignores the signs and resigns to being marginalized to a clerical role. Fulfill orders. Provide pricing. Smile with good service. Eventually, you become less relevant.
The buying process in your industry may have shifted, but it does not mean you sit and wait to be called. The world will simply pass you buy.
Take note. Your buyer is telling you that they are in learning mode. They value education before they even talk to you. An educated buyer is your best customer. They can actually dialogue with you and have an intelligent discussion about your industry and offerings. Such conversations alleviate the stress and tension that comes from premature selling when:
- a buyer feels ignorant
- there is a large information gap
- they feel you are talking down at them
- they cannot tell if you are selling or helping
- there is a lack of connection around common terminology
- sales conversations feel adversarial
Tension is high when a buyer feels disadvantaged, unfamiliar or uncomfortable.
Now, what if you are part of the education process? What if you help your buyer ask the right questions and become a peer in the conversation? What if you are an advisor rather than a seller? The dynamic shifts. You bring something valuable to the buying process.
Help enough people fill in the gaps, and you will be able to fill in yours. It requires a system which is part of how your buyer proceeds to engage you.
Have you seen these gaps in your own process? What if you were talking to more educated customers?