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Know the Digital Age Buyer

‘57% of the purchase decision is complete before a buyer even calls a supplier (CEB, 2015)’


Over time and with availability of latest information tools and techniques, the modern buyer has changed the way she deals with the sales person. There used to be a time when the buyer would depend upon the sale person for knowledge about the product, the company and even the industry. It is now said that 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a buyer even calls a supplier (CEB, 2015)

With the information available about your company, your products; your competitor’s products and even about yourself, she is well prepared to meet you. You have already built an image about yourself and your company with the way it is presented online. Not only that, she might have made a few reference calls and checked your product reviews before she approaches you. Today’s buyer is well connected. So, your approach to deal with the customer has to change as well. Gone are the days when the salesperson would ‘Show up and Throw Up’. The seller has to be prepared to meet the informative buyer as well.

When she meets you she is basically looking for the credibility of the information she has received so far. If meeting you would positively reinforce her impression, she is likely to build trust with you and your company. She would be interested to find out if the solution that you present actually solves her problem. Therefore, when you approach the buyer, you need to focus more on how your solutions fits her needs.

Your approach has to be consultative where you ask pertinent and relevant questions to understand her pain points and propose how your solution solves her problems.

The Buyer Research Stages


The buyer research typically consists of the following stages


Need Identification:

A need arises in the organization for a particular product or service. The buyer assess specifications of what is required and the reason why it is necessary to buy this product? Would it help the organization become more productive or efficient? Would the product or service put them at an advantage over the competitors? What pains would it resolve or what pleasure would it bring?

Research:

The buyer then researches to get more knowledge about the product. He ask friends, colleagues and experts and tries to assess if they can adapt a particular solution. She tries to get more information and tries to get herself more educated about the available solution.

Engage:

The buyers turns towards social network. She throws a question about the product or service on the social groups and searches for the products on google, yahoo and other search engines. She gets information from the first 10 sites it encounters and see any correlation among the results found so far. She then prepares a shortlist and make research on each and every company in the shortlist. She uses the search engine, the company website, finds reviews and searches in social and business networks.

Approach Suppliers:

It is after this process that, then, she reaches out to the suppliers and meet the sales persons

Responses from Companies:

The buyer then looks for responses from the companies. This is where you come in and it is obvious that your job is different. The buyer does not want to know about your company, your products, functionality, features and benefits. She is more interested in finding out what value does your product offer and what pain the product might resolve?

It is imperative for the sales person to develop an understanding of the modern day buyer. Only when the sales person understands the approach of the buyer, then only the sales person would be able to focus on resolving buyer’s pain, ask the relevant questions, develop interest, build credibility and answer objections.

You can learn more about the modern buyer and also learn the other skills required in the digital age by attending the training and workshops we offer periodically. Please visit www.salesinstituteofpakistan.com or email us at events@solutions-inc.info to reserve seat.

Kamran Saeed is a sales trainer and consultant. He has over 28 years of sales experience in varied industries such as IT, engineering, publishing, and event management. He can be reached at kamran.saeed@solutions-inc.info

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