Saturday, September 12, 2009

Give to Get

From a recent Jill Konrath newsletter:

Today's feature article is by Josiane Feigon, inside sales expert and author of the newly released book, Smart Selling on the Phone & Online. It's excellent. If you want to improve your phone & email prospecting skills, this book shows you how. It's easy to read and highly practical. That's why I wrote the foreward for it!

What Buyers Really Care (and Don't Care) About
By Josiane Feigon

Today's sales 2.0 landscape is drizzled with economic uncertainties, and the buyers are in the driver's seat. That means no matter how hard you try to earn their business, they have their own agenda - they hardly care about your selling efforts. Don't take it personally. When you are selling in a buyer's market, you must see the business through their eyes and understand exactly what they care about and don't care about:
Here's What Buyers Don't Care About

  • They don't care about your company being the fastest-growing leader in your space. Sure, they want to know your company will stick around. But more important, they want to know if what you're offering is the most timely and relevant solution for their needs.
  • They don't care about all the emails and phone messages you have left over the past few months. They move at their own pace. When they are ready, they will let you know.
  • They don't care that you are the lowest-priced leader in your space. Even in an economic downturn, price continues to be the least determining factor in a buyer's purchasing decision.
  • They don't care that they used to be a customer years ago. Loyalty runs thin. The only thing they may remember from a few years ago is the pricing they had in the past.
  • They don't care about your great service, support and training- Sure, it sounds enticing but the reality is unless something goes wrong, they don't really need all this.
Here's What Buyers Do Care About
  • They care about the time you take to learn about their business. They want to be heard, but only by the most knowledgeable audience. There is no excuse for not knowing.
  • They care about being low-risk. As a group, buyers are naturally risk-averse. In a difficult economy, they are even more cautious.
  • They care about your reputation and how many people they know have done business with you before. More and more buyers are basing their purchase decisions on what others say about your service or solutions.
  • They care about conversion rates and deals that stick. If you can't demonstrate a conversion process on their investment, they are not interested. They want to know what exactly they will get from their investment.
  • They care about where they see the economy going. They are not bargain-shopping, they are value-shopping. They want to get the most value for their money and see returns years later.
It's time to move away from your "self-selling utopia" and listen to what your customers care about.

JOSIANE FEIGON is President of TeleSmart and blogger Her new book, Smart Selling from on the Phone and Online is already creating a buzz as the inside sales sourcebook. She is a global thought leader in the inside sales community and recognized as one of the world's leading experts on inside sales teams and management talent.

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