Sellers focus on presenting product or service features and making support commitments (words-often lots of words), and the customer is trying to predict performance (actions-or lack thereof). In making predictions, buying decision-makers have learned that words are not enough; every salesperson is well armed with those. All sales people know how to make promises!
What buyers look for are actions. They look for activities that allow them to predict that they are important to the seller, and that the salesperson has the chutzpah to see their commitments through.
Every decision-maker with buying authority has had the same experience. Usually it happens early in their career. They establish an emotional connection to a salesperson based on personality profiling. “Oh, Joe is such a great guy, he reminds me of my buddies at college, he’ll never let me down!” And then he does! Joe makes the sale and is out on his next conquest. The buyer has a disappointment with the product and Joe is nowhere to be found.
Buyers want to avoid post-purchase trauma at all costs. Post-sale support failures cost them time and political capital. They learn early to look for the seller that will be there after the purchase and help them deal with any and all potential service disappointments.
So what helps the buyer predict good post-sales behavior on the part of the salesperson? Actions!
o Actions that demonstrate the seller cares about the buying organization and has a history of success.
o Actions that predict the seller is predisposed to post-sale support and understands the buyers internal organizational stressors.
o Actions that show power and influence within their own organization so they can see through on their commitments.
o Actions that show respect for the decision-maker’s time.
o Actions that help the buyer win support from co-workers and internal customers.
o Actions that position the seller as trustworthy.
In short, there are specific actions that help the buyer get over their fear of making a purchase. Without those actions, the buyer is left with defending their purchase because they got “the lowest possible price”. If you don’t want to be the low-price guy, then be the ‘best possible partner’ guy and demonstrate exceptional post-sales support behaviors!
By Daniel Blare