Stop selling, start inspiring your customers
You don’t shop anymore like you did five years ago, so why would you still sell the same way? Today’s B2B buyers are more independent than ever before. They do their own research, view testimonial videos and compare prices online. In fact, in the B2C world, 90% of the purchasing decision is made before a potential customer enters a store.
That means we have to change. What worked a year ago is now outdated. Customers don’t want a pushy salesman, but simply the best solution.
But don’t worry: buyers still need sellers, just not in the old way. Purchasing behavior has changed, nowadays customers need much more information than great deals.
So how can sellers adapt to the changing needs of B2B buyers?
Here are some tips:
1. Take the role of expert
Consumers are curious. They want to know more about your product so that they can make the best possible decision for their company. And luckily for them, you are the expert!
Instead of selling, try to inspire. Show your B2B buyers what the impact is for their company if they implemented your solution. Provide them with materials and make yourself available for their questions, but don’t go too far. By presenting yourself as a source of knowledge, you can inform your prospect of the value of your product without appearing intrusive. And there is a good chance that you will gain the trust of your customers as a result.
2. Show value and inspire
Success does not happen during the sales conversation. It then happens when your prospect is awake at night thinking about the potential gain of implementing your solution or the potential loss of not implementing it. It is your job to inspire your customers by helping them imagine a future with your product – and by showing your prospect what they would miss by passing this opportunity on to their company.
Showing value in sales is nothing new. Finding new ways to inspire and create opportunities to share value is something we can always work on. Even if you work with the largest, most traditional prospects, there is still a need for innovation. Maybe even more need.
3. A sales conversation under an alias…
… is unfair and useless to your prospects. If it is a sales pitch, make it clear that it is a sales pitch.
By being straightforward, you build trust with your prospect. You will also notice that people are more willing to talk to you if they know what they are doing.
Don’t be vague. If you only need three minutes of their time, say so. Set a timer and stick to those three minutes. Give them the option of a follow-up or to continue the conversation if they are still interested, but let them know when the three minutes have passed. By showing that you respect their time, you demonstrate that you are reliable.
4. Be genuine and authentic
There is a part of the seller from the past that will never be superfluous: the human connection. It may sound a bit drowsy, but as humans we just want to connect with other people.