How To Put The Buyer First In Your Sales Practices
Most sales professionals think they prioritize buyers, but most buyers disagree. In fact, according to the State of Sales 2021 report from LinkedIn, 65 percent of sellers say they “always” put the buyer first, but only 23 percent of buyers agree.
To succeed in sales today, you can’t only focus on your numbers—you need to build a solid sales strategy around your buyers’ needs. This sounds easy enough, but many sales professionals are stuck in their ways. Instead of working to truly understand their prospects’ pain points, they just want to move the needle and close more deals.
So, how can you move toward a buyer-centric sales philosophy? According to Sean Callahan, the senior manager, content marketing at LinkedIn, you should focus on five principles if you want to put the buyer first. We discuss his thoughts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Do your research. The first principle of buyer-first selling is understanding the buyer’s company and needs. Callahan says sales professionals should be laser focused on gaining a clear grasp of what’s happening with a prospect and where the biggest barriers and pain points exist. Be sure to research the company’s website, LinkedIn page and social media sites where employees may share news. Focus on learning as much as you can about the buyer’s situation through their eyes, says Callahan.
Prioritize transparency. Your prospects can easily compare your products and services with offerings from other companies. That’s why transparency is so important when you want to put the buyer first. Callahan recommends making pricing information clear and easy to find. You can also post case studies and data sheets that can compare your solution with others. Help prospects navigate the way forward. Give them a reason to feel confident choosing you, says Callahan.
Aim to solve instead of sell. Another principle of buyer-first selling involves becoming a trusted advisor to your prospects. According to Callahan, this means shifting your mindset. Instead of using your sales skills to close the deal, you use your experience to help the prospect solve their most pressing business challenges. You won’t be a fit for every prospective buyer, and that’s okay. If you know an alternative product or service would be smarter for the prospect, recommend the other solution.
Deliver value. This may sound like a vague concept, but it really comes down to being useful. Callahan says this may be sharing thought leadership content with the prospect or offering trials with no strings attached. Or it could mean simply staying in touch after a purchase and ensuring the buyer is enjoying all the benefits you pitched.
Consistently act in the buyer’s best interest. Putting the buyer first in your sales practices means valuing their success more than your own desire to win their business. This is how you earn trust, says Callahan. He adds that trust is a huge factor in closing a deal, with more than one-third of decision-makers ranking it as more important than price or ROI.
Modern buyers want to know they have an expert on their side. They don’t want to work with a salesperson trying to close another deal. You can lay the groundwork for fruitful sales relationships by always aiming to put the buyer first.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Sean Callahan is the senior manager, content marketing at LinkedIn.