To sell more, learn how buyers think.
Whether you’re selling a specific product, service, concept or idea, if you're going to successfully persuade or influence the motivations or actions of others, you need to first understand what drives a person to buy in the first place.
The Customer Buying Process is a sequence of steps that a person goes through to arrive at a final decision when buying a product, service, concept or idea.
This is where the customer recognises that they have a specific problem or need they would like to be addressed or satisfied. A buying decision cannot be made unless there is acknowledgement that a problem or need exists.
The second step in the Customer Buying Process is the Information Search. This is the customer's effort to search for information that relates to fixing their problem or need.
The third step in the Customer Buying Process is Evaluating Options. At this stage, the customer uses the information gathered in Step Two to evaluate their possible options, with the intent of selecting one that they believe best addresses their problem or achieves their need.
The fourth step in the Customer Buying Process is Making the Decision. At this point, the customer has evaluated their options, and are now deciding whether to move forward with it or not.
The fifth and final step in the Customer Buying Process is the Post Decision Evaluation. This is where the customer compares the outcome of their decision against their original expectations.
In addition to understanding the sequential steps that a customer goes through when they make a buying decision, another key driver to sales success is to fully understand the different people who may be involved in the buying process.
In this video we will be exploring two different stakeholder roles – the Decider and the Influencer. Let’s start by exploring the role of the Decider, probably the most integral person to have on your side.
The Buyer is the person who is going to ultimately write the check or pay the bill. Generally, the Buyer trusts the Decider to make the best decision.
Now that we’ve explored the different stakeholder roles that may make an appearance within the buying process, let’s take this learning and apply it practically.
In his book, 'To Sell is Human', Daniel Pink explains that in order to be successful at influencing the actions and motivations of others, an essential quality that salespeople need to master is attunement – the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people.
The quality and outcome of a sales conversion can be significantly influenced by the questions asked by the salesperson. There are a range of different types of questions that a salesperson can use and this video explores them.
Now that we've explored the different types of questions, we introduce you to a more advance questioning model called the SPIN model.
Situational questions are designed to gather facts and valuable information about the customer’s existing situation. They help build a clear picture of what’s going on in your customer’s world, so you can determine if your product, service, concept or idea will be of value to them.
Problem questions probe for problems, difficulties or general areas of dissatisfaction that the customer is having. Answers to the problem will direct you towards the root cause of the customer’s needs.
Implication questions are designed get the customer eager to find a solution to their problem. Smart implication questions will make the customer identify for themselves the impact the problem creates if it continues.
Need or Pay-Off questions get the customer thinking about the value, importance and usefulness of your solution.
Another fundamental skill that is required to master the art of ‘attunement’ is the ability to effectively listen. And though this may seem obvious, genuinely listening to another person can be harder than it sounds.
Trust is the foundation to any successful relationship, sales or otherwise. A lack of trust can put everything in the customer buying process into question and speculation.
Achieving a high level of trust in relationships is fundamental to success in how we do business today. The level of trust in business relationships, whether they're internal with employees or colleagues, or external with customers and partners, is the greatest determinant of sales success.
Having developed a high level of trust with your customer through implementing the principles of the Trust Equation, you will now be in a strong position to pitch your proposed solution to them. High performing sales people often use a technique called an Elevator Pitch at this point.
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