We know that buyers want proof, but are we aware that the kind of proof they’re looking for is evidence that you really are customer focused, that you really are trying to look at issues through their eyes, that you really are concerned about meeting their needs, that you really are trying to help them move through the buying process? They are looking for reasons to trust you.
Buyers Need Coaches, Not Sellers
Considering the complexity of making B2B purchases, buyers need coaches, or guides, through the journey rather than someone trying to convince them their solution is the best solution for them. We need to change our mentality as salespeople and consider ourselves as service-oriented participants in a complex problem-solving process. The more we take this approach, the more likely we will be to secure the trust of the buyers and help them solve their problems, which means a deal for us.
This also means that we do need to have, or have at our disposal, an array of tools and information to help the buyer. If you aren’t experienced enough, you’ll need to bring others in to help you coach the buyer.
So who are you coaching and on what topics? The main person or people you’ll coach are your champions. They are your internal team working to get your deal done inside their target organization. What to coach on varies over time. Here are some of the key issues that you’ll need to coach your champions on:
- The competitive landscape and where your solution fits in, what kinds of situations your competition’s solutions are useful for, and the unique situations and problems that your solution solves
- Things to consider as they try to solve the problem with the solution that you’re offering
- Steps in the purchasing process
- Commitments you and they will need to make to have a successful completion
- What roles usually need to get involved and why
- What stage in the buying process each role gets involved
- What questions or concerns are usually raised by what roles
- What materials and informational resources you have to help address those concerns or questions and when to use them
- How successful customers implement your solution and what other stakeholders need to get involved after the purchase
Your Actions Build Trust
All of the “need from you” tips in this chapter link back to the idea that your mindset needs to switch from “making a sale” to “helping a customer buy.” If you are responsive to your customers, if you give them reasons to trust you by virtue of what you say and do, if you act in the role of a coach, if you make sure their concerns are resolved and make sure they continually gain value in working with you (during and after the sale), then you will create a path for buying groups that makes it easier for them to move more quickly through their buying steps. And because they trust your authentic commitment to them, they are more likely to stay loyal to you and your company.