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Helping Buyers Buy

Submitted by on Monday, 27 June 2005

I’ve been reading some articles lately that offer tips on how buyers buy. But that’s not the issue at all. Since sales has been about getting something sold, and is therefore a push technology, the accepted wisdom seems to be that if sellers understand how buyers buy, they’ll better know how to close.

But that’s not true. Hell, the best minds in the world have managed demographics, marketing techniques, and sales techniques, but it hasn’t changed the percentage of people who buy during a sales situation (7%).

The real ‘tip’ is that sellers have to change their jobs. Teach the buyer how to navigate their own internal systems issues and let them make their own change decisions. After all, it’s not a buying decision they need to make, but a decision to change something that’s ‘worked’ (in whatever way it’s worked, it’s worked until now). And that’s where buyers go when they don’t come back. It doesn’t have to be a mystery. The only mystery is how to give up ‘selling’ and teach them how to navigate their systems decisions (no one – NO ONE – is alone when they make a decision other than a small personal item).

Helping buyers buy is another buzz phrase. It won’t change the 7% of people who end up buying: just cuz a seller knows what a buyer needs doesn’t help the buyer make their decision or manage their change process.
But at least the buyer is being mentioned. For over a decade I’ve been slogging this horse, and now folks are beginning to cast their nets farther out and at least LOOK in the direction of the buyer.
Good thing.