Today’s elusive and independent buyer's claim they don't need salespeople and they don't- at least, not the traditional ones. Since they are independent, self-sufficient, and self-educated, they prefer a virtual relationship than an in-person relationship with a sales person. Understanding what they want and need will help you meet them on their own terms. This video provides you with nine habits on what this customer is all about. By becoming more knowledgeable about this customer, you will learn to align and adjust your sales approach.
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- Have you noticed your prospects and customers are more unpredictable than ever before? Have you been wondering why the act so skittish or slow to trust and quick to disappear at a moment's notice? How many times did they make a commitment to you only to find out they were somewhere else? Do you feel like you are constantly chasing them and when they respond they act annoyed as though you're interrupting them? Yesterday's customer wanted to be sold to and relied on salespeople for everything.
They even wanted them to visit and go out for long lunches. They were loyal, predictable, and needed guidance throughout the sales cycle. Today's customers are unpredictable, they're super busy, super mobile, super connected, and independent. They don't return phone calls, they see the phone as an interruption. They're too smart for generic and meaningless messaging, or robotic call tactics that really get them annoyed.
They have short attention spans, short fuses, and short memories. It's not unusual for them to forget the commitment they made last week, and might disappear for a while only to reappear months later. And don't be surprised if they cancel appointments because they forgot or something better came up for them. There's a lot of research out there that confirms this customer engages at least 50 to 70% into the sales cycle, and usually when they show up they've done most of the research on their own.
This messes up the sales cycle as it seems they're much more in control of the buying process, creating their own unique and hidden sales cycle that you can't always predict nor control. They're reluctant and cautious about spending because they've survived the tough times and they don't want to go there again. They have money to spend, but want to see a greater return and ROI before spending anymore. It's likely that they'll know more about your product or service than you do, and that's because they're independent, they're self-sufficient buyers who do their own research and ask their social networks for advice.
They might tell you to send them less and more condensed information. This is because they prefer micro-information and they can devour it in bite-sized portions. So, don't waste your time crafting long emails or putting together tons of slides, they want the cliff notes. Are you at a loss on how you can please them? Don't take it personally, this customer changes their mind a lot and tends to lack loyalty.
They may be sending you mixed messages because it seems like they might be pushing you away and sending clear signals to give them space, they're also asking you to keep your sales lifeline open. It pays to understand their mixed messages and not give up on them. Don't forget, there's some things they really do appreciate. They're visually hungry. Since they have a large appetite for devouring visual and bite-size pieces of content, putting them on a healthy nurturing diet of relevant, fresh, and fun content like cool videos will get their attention.
They like to collaborate. Today's customer is not the lone wolf who flies solo, they prefer to come together, collaborate with others to exchange ideas, share knowledge and discuss strategies and gain consensus. They also rely on their social networks. They're socially astute and rely on their peers and networks for advice, direction, and guidance. Every time I run through these qualities with sales people during my training and I see a room filled with heads nodding, I reassure them they're not alone.
This customer resurfaces everywhere, and once you realize these behaviors it'll be easier to adjust your approach. You will be better equipped to sell to them. Now, start creating some bite-sized visual content for them to review.
- Understanding the qualities of successful inside sales pros
- Using the right sales tools
- Social selling with LinkedIn
- Improving your response rate
- Building a foolproof qualification plan
- Getting past gatekeepers
- Handling objections
- Closing the sale