What is going on? Why would an experienced executive or a responsible business line manager, prefer to maintain failure rather than change?
Why do prospects listen to our brilliant stories, pitches and rational data only to nod their head enthusiastically and do nothing? Why do they download our professionally written content, sit through our presentations and demos, tell us how important and valuable the information is and not return our calls?
Maybe the better question to ask is when does a buyer buy? When they’re ready!
When is a buyer ready? When they recognize why their problem exists and persists, when they realize and confirm that they cannot fix the problem with known or familiar resources and when they’re prepared to accept the changes a purchase will bring in a way that won’t burn the house down.
In other words, until buyers fully understand and accept the changes a purchase will bring, they’re just people trying to fix a problem themselves.
It’s never been about the buyers need or your solution
The buyers struggle has nothing to do with evaluating solutions. Our brilliant stories, demos, and thought leadership content presented at exactly the right time, in the right way, to the right person will not convince buyers that change is necessary unless the buyer has already discerned how to make the appropriate changes internally, to ready themselves for the disruption the new solution might bring to the organization.
Regardless of the efficacy of what we offer and the dire need for our solution, buyers can’t buy if the cost of disruption to the organization is higher than the cost of maintaining the problem.
Evaluating the Cost of Change
This is not the same as the ROI model that sales and marketing promote to justify an investment in their solution. Buyers are evaluating themselves and their ability to withstand the pressure of changing and until they know how to manage any change that would be incurred as result of a purchase, prospective buyers cannot buy regardless of need, solution or ROI.
We fail to realize that whatever “new solution” comes into a buyers existing system must fit with the status quo or it will be rejected. Indeed, any modifications to the status quo would have to be performed in a way that would leave the buyers system, functioning normally. The buyer’s system would rather be fine, as it is, than not exist.
The status quo is way more powerful than any solution you can offer.
Buying is strategic. Selling is tactical.
For buyers, it’s a systems/change decision, not a purchase/fix problem. When we offer our data, pitch or rational argument too early, it’s not seen as a reason to buy but rather as a threat to the balance and order of a buying system that’s not prepared or ready for change.
Sometimes our solution is not recognized as being needed because the Buying Decision Team hasn’t yet been fully assembled and needs haven’t been fully scoped. Sometimes buyers know they have a need but haven’t determined how to manage the fallout change will bring or maybe the IT team is still trying to find internal workarounds as a resolution to the problem.
It’s certainly possible that at the time our reps are getting “No’s”, prospects are merely at a stuck stage and can easily move beyond it once they recognize what’s holding them back and how they can get everyone to buy-in to change.
When our clients recognize that their buyer personas, precision targeting, content marketing, Sandler, SPIN, Challenger etc. methodologies overlook those people who are stuck and in the process of becoming buyers we “fill in the blanks” by helping them to recognize how their buyers buy and where they can use these insights to engage prospects earlier in their decision path.
Buying vs Selling
We interview recent buyers that found a way through the same or similar buying issues that your prospects are currently dealing with. Our Buyer Assessment clearly maps a decision path to how recent buyers bought, what issues ground their process to a halt and how they managed to get everyone involved on-side and bought-in to the changes a purchase would bring.
This is where your prospects are stuck and your reps aren’t addressing any of the issues that are important to them.
The resulting Buyers Decision Map answers the questions your buyers are asking and is the foundation for a Lead Engagement Strategy that guides your marketers and reps to know what to look for, what to notice, what needs to be accounted for, what’s in the way and what needs to change in order to help prospects make their decisions faster.
We give your sales reps a macro view of their buyers purchase decision that they use to expand their prospects micro view.
Recognizing and engaging real buyers on the first call
If you want to help buyers with an obvious need to buy, you’ll need to stop trying to find a match between your solution and the buyers need and focus the conversation on the buyer’s willingness to change.
The Lead Engagement Strategy provides the buyer insights that allow your reps to engage buyers early in their decision, start thinking about where change will occur and qualify the opportunity based on the buyer’s willingness to accept the changes a purchase will bring. You can bet that qualified leads will have a need but the real buyers will be the ones willing to accept change and do something about it.
What’s stopping your reps from helping their prospect to recognize where they may be stuck and work with them to address the issues that might be getting in their way?
There’s been a long history of selling. Now is the time to help people buy.