If you consider a buyer may get around thirty cold calls a week from different suppliers, then that equates to around two full days a week. So how do they sort the wheat from the chaff?
- They want the complex made simple even if it boils down to such things as understanding compliance issues and safety regulations, especially in today’s litigious world.
- Someone who has knowledge of their business, in some cases understanding their own business more than them.
- A salesperson who is proactive and who can lead the conversation combining product and business needs together
- They want someone who delivers on time.
- They want someone who is realistic as opposed to opportunistic and someone who is personable and not arrogant.
- What annoys them is a salesperson who is not empowered and has to ring the boss for the simplest of decisions.
- They want someone who is able to be innovative and partner in a planning and behavioural way versus someone who rattles off a product monologue.
- They want transparency so they can see thinking and information behind the scenes.
So, if they get all of this in a supplier then what would prompt them to shift suppliers? Simple! Someone, or a company, that makes things difficult or complex, including an environment that demonstrates a lack of engagement, awareness and shows complacency.
The company they want to partner with must stay relevant in a changing market which means the salesperson must become innovative – not marketing.
They expect to hear value propositions throughout any show, tell or ask scenarios, instead of hearing the same old ‘me’ focussed monologue. If they don’t hear any value proposition then they will pull out their metaphorical 4’x2’ and beat the salesperson down on price.
It is so important for the salesperson to step into their powerful side and learn to say NO at appropriate times. You don’t need to prostitute yourself – it is an abundant global market. You don’t need to drop your price purely to get the business. There is benefit in creating some tension that demonstrates your commitment to sustaining value.
Bernadette McClelland works with B2B sales people who wish to sell more, step up their sales and personal leadership skills and position themselves as industry experts through her mentoring programs, in-house trainings, public workshops and keynote presentations.