Matching Your Sales Process to Your Buyer's Buying Process
Think about the steps in your buying process when you buy something—a pair of sneakers, for instance. Something in your world gets your attention and you come to the conclusion: I need a new pair of sneakers. You start to go out and look, try a couple pairs on, go to the store, go to Amazon, etc. In that process, you remove doubt, because you’re actively looking. Then you start to consider it, lay it out and say, “Jeez, do I really need these? What pair do I need?” Ultimately, you buy a pair.
That’s a simple buying process.
In most sales, especially business-to-business sales, it’s more complex. In a previous blog, I've likened the sales process to a trip to the doctor's office. Regardless of the product or service though, there’s a way to be successful: match up your sales process to the buyer's buying process. In short, sell how people buy. Do this and you’ll be successful. Sound simple? It is and isn’t at the same time.
The Science and Art of Sales As a sales professional, you take action to get somebody’s attention. You need to qualify them to see if they would fit business parameters. You have to engage the prospect in some kind of request for their time, ask them a series of questions that are really for their benefit, and get the buyer in a scenario where you can present them with an idea in order to start creating an opportunity where one did not exist before. Then you present something that removes their doubt and gets them saying, “This is a decent fit for me.” Finally, you get into dialogue with them to remove any objection and close. There’s no shortcut to the process, no way to cheat the sales process—whether solicited or unsolicited. At the end of the day, sales is a science—a series of yeses:
Can I talk to you? Yes, I'll talk to you.
Can I ask you some questions? Yes, you can ask me questions.
Can I present an idea to you? Yes, you can present to me an idea.
Have I resolved your objections? Yes, you resolved my objection.
Are you ready to buy? Yes, I'll buy. It's an algorithm of questions. Each question a stage in the process. Each question followed by a yes to get to the next stage. But sales is also an art—one that requires a deep understanding of why someone is looking to buy and how to help them understand you have the right solution. Practiced at a high level, the profession combines creativity with a process for predictable results.