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PROSALESGUY - Evolution of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship

    • 194 posts
    May 6, 2020 2:01 PM PDT

    Never has the evolution of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship been more important.  This is the biggest message we’re sending to our sales training partners.   While the easing of restrictions and re-opening of businesses has Salespeople eager to get back to driving sales, it will not be business as usual.   The phasing-in period will easily take months to occur.  It’s going to be a character-building experience with a lot of delayed gratification.  Now is the time for a long-term perspective to build champion customers in the evolution of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship.

    Doesn’t the last 3 months feel like a lot longer than 90 days?  It does for everyone, especially Salespeople, Sales Managers, and Business Owners.  No amount of foresight or planning could’ve fully prepared businesses for what is the most catastrophic financial event most of us have ever endured.  Of course, it’s not over yet and we’ll probably still be feeling the impact by the end of 2020.  As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

     

    Ask yourself and your buyers this question

    What have you learned from this?   Dark financial clouds come with silver linings.  Can you imagine how busy website developers have been adding sales functionality and e-commerce to their clients’ sites?  How about the creation of alternate revenue streams for businesses that focused only on a couple of lucrative areas?  Were you previously using web-conferencing with clients and team members for internal communication?  Your perception is your reality because that’s the way you choose to see things.  Not acknowledging the top three things you learned in the past 90 days is a missed opportunity.

     

    Here’s what’s required in the rebuilding process

    Every Salesperson and Sales Manager is acquainted with the many versions of the sales funnel.   They have one common denominator – the process of qualifying the right buyers to ensure that you are successful in making more sales.

    However, virtually every one of them that I’ve seen comes up short, and here’s why.

     

    The Evolution of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship

    The relationship doesn’t end with the sale.  It takes on a new direction as your buyers have faith in trusting you with their money.  Too many Salespeople are guilty of churn and burn where they do whatever it takes to entice the customer to say YES and then quickly move on to the next opportunity because they think their job is done.  Not true!  In many ways, it just started.  Check out our version of the sales funnel below.

     

    Let’s explain each of the stages of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship

    Prospects:  Any buyer or company that meets your Ideal Customer Profile.  They must have a need that links with your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and be able to use and pay for your services.  Try to see past the obvious qualifiers of having a pulse and money.  If they aren’t a good match, why are you pursuing them?

    Leads:  A prospect that has shown some degree of interest in your products and services and shows the desire to continue the dialogue and engage with you.  Stop chasing after buyers repeatedly who have no desire to talk or meet with you.  Put them off to the side and re-engage in a few months.  Timing is everything in working with the right buyers.   Situations can easily change in a month or two.  Think back to January when Corona was just a popular choice of beverage.

    Finalists:  A lead that has invested in a Customer Needs Analysis (CNA) with you and is sincere about the consideration of your services.  The match you thought existed when they were a prospect has been confirmed by the buyer.  Ask them the question “Do you feel we might be able to help you?”  Don’t expect a resounding YES.  That sounds too much like a buying decision.  Authentic consideration is the only thing you’re asking for.  Follow with this question “What’s the next step in the process?”

    First Time Buyer:  Congratulations!  Your hard work has paid off and your client has become a purchaser.  This is the start of their buying relationship.  You need to achieve success in the mind of the customer to continue their development.  Ensure that your evolution of the client relationship includes influencers and key stakeholders that form the buying committee.

    Repeat Buyer:  The pattern of success is now starting.  Your first-time client has decided that you, your company and your product is worthy of a second purchase.  Smart Salespeople know that sales growth from these buyers can turn first time orders into much regular and larger quarterly or yearly purchases.  Ask the question “What can we do to assist you better?”  Keep driving for success with others within the buyer’s group and become an asset to your client and insulate yourself from the competition who is actively recruiting your buyer.

    Advocates:  A repeat client that speaks highly of your product and service to you personally.  They want you to know that they’re happy as long as it doesn’t make them susceptible to a price increase.  Your relationship with your buyer now has you on the inside looking out versus on the outside looking in.  Don’t be satisfied with the volume of sales you’re receiving.  Focus on your unfair share of purchasing based on your track record and performance.

    Champions: An advocate who becomes the epitome of the Salesperson-Buyer Relationship.  This buyer is the best Salesperson for you and your company because they pay you money to endorse your services to their colleagues and connections.  That is the great vote of confidence you can ask from a client.  By the way, you should be asking for referrals, positive Google reviews, and a personal recommendation on your LinkedIn Profile.  The rule here is to leverage the credibility of Champions.

     

    See my point?

    For Salespeople who get it, a sale is only the first step in building relationships with Repeat Buyers, Advocates, and Champions.  That not only adds to your sales growth and commissions, but it also carries huge weight with your Management Team and comes with the respect, admiration, and self-confidence of being a Sales Leader.

     

    What do you think?  As always, I’m here to help or answer any questions you have in the comments section below.

    Stay safe everyone.  Thanks!

     

    Dave Warawa

    Author of Shut Up!  Stop Talking and Start Making Money - available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca