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Why Do We Blame Buyers?

Friday, 19 February 2010

I once told a group that I was going to title a book I’d Close More Sales if it Weren’t for the Buyer. I got a standing ovation! And I assumed I’d get a laugh. That’s like saying ‘I would have had a better birth experience if it weren’t for my mother.’

Why do we assume buyers are, um, stupid? Because it’s obvious to us they should buy. From where we stand, it seems we have THE perfect fit – the right solution at the right price, filling the right need, and the right relationship.

But we consistently forget that a buyer’s problem is not an isolated event, and it sits within the buyer’s environment – their system, if you will – all mashed up with a bunch of unknown and unknowable other elements that not only hold it in place, but maintain it daily.

And we walk in as Super Saviours, assuming we are, as Dr. Seuss says in The Sneetches The Fixxit Up Chappie.

But it’s so much more complex – even for a very simple sale. Because every single purchase is a Change Management issue. Every single one. And, so different from what we perceive, buyers are doing perfectly well as they are – or they would have fixed their problem already.

So, no, it’s not a money problem, or a competition problem, or a differentiation problem. And where prospects go is not to find a better price or visit your competition. They go to the next department, or an old vendor, or the tech group, to see if they can get buy-in for change.

Because until or unless buyers get agreement from everyone and everything that touches the Identified Problem, and would be in some way stressed if something different entered the system, they will do nothing. Regardless of their need, or your stellar, and (of course) perfect solution.

It’s  not about you, your solution, your relationship, your price, your care, your presentation, your appointment, your charisma, or having the perfect fit.

Until or unless buyers recognize and manage all of the internal issues that not only created their Identified Problem but keep it in place daily, and until they all buy-in to whatever change will happen when something new enters, they will do absolutely nothing.

Check out my new book Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. It will explain what’s going on and what you can do about it. Then you can stop telling your manager that you’ve got prospects in the pipeline, and you’ll have a much better understanding of where and how you and your solution will fit in.


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