Customers dread being sold to. It’s no different for B2B buyers than it is for anyone else. Your job as a salesperson is to take the buyers journey from dread to delight!
In fact, research shows that the buyers journey now includes spending only 17% of their time actually buying. Since that’s often divided among many potential suppliers, you might be getting just 1% to 5% of their time.
So, what are you going to do with your small fraction of your buyer’s time to make it valuable and memorable?
On this episode of Mental Selling, we speak with Janice B. Gordon, Customer Growth Expert, about why people hate buying and what you can do to make the buyers journey and customer experience something they love instead, why you should stop using Zoom like a phone and how to maximize its value, the matchless value of self-awareness in sales, and more.
Sales Tip: Stop Selling, Start Answering Questions
When you finally get in front of the buyer, do not waste their time.
Janice discusses that a good salesperson understands what the buyer needs in that moment to move them on to the next stage — not to sell to them, but to answer the buyer’s questions. Thus, a good salesperson asks discovery questions to find out what the exact and specific question, challenge or problem is that has brought the buyer to the call.
“Your job is to find out: where’s the gap? What do they need? Where are they trying to get? What is the outcome? What is the context to all of this?”-Janice B. Gordon
Your sales pitch is the last thing that a buyer wants at this moment because it takes them back over territory they’ve likely already covered. Most buyers today will have long since begun their journey on your website or social media. They’ve probably also compared your content to competitors or against your own brand in another medium. They don’t need you to tell them what they already know and what helped them agree to speak with you in the first place.
After they’ve already scanned the environment, they need to speak to someone to answer a question that they can’t quite find already available — an answer that they will verify against all the research they have already conducted on and about your company.
“The buyer is speaking to you for a particular reason. Understand what that is.”-Janice B. Gordon
People Skills and Video Calls
Sellers need to develop active listening skills to connect with buyers, especially on video calls.
If you see a question on a buyer’s face, stop talking! Invite them to share their thoughts or questions, which helps you in two ways:
- Demonstrating that you are actively listening builds rapport.
- Eliciting the buyer’s underlying questions will enable you to give them what they want.
“Retrain your brain to pick up on different types of body language, when they are understanding, when they’ve got a question on their mind, what that looks like on their face and in their behaviors.”-Janice B. Gordon
Deep Research: Sales as Detective Work
A seller needs the people skills to know better than to treat every buyer the same, even within the same organization.
Buyers expect sellers to have enough business acumen to make the connections that are built on research about the company, competitors, industry, and various individual stakeholders. If you have that information at your fingertips, then you can bring decision makers together.
In other words, the seller should already know the answers to the question, What’s keeping you up at night?
Self-Awareness in Sales
“It’s important for salespeople to be self aware, to understand that they do have the flexibility between their own personality from their natural style and their adaptive style.”-Janice B. Gordon
Janice uses her understanding of the DiSC Profile (dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness) in both herself and others to adapt to the customer-centric operation.
It’s about being self-aware of our own needs, but also intuitive and agile enough to adapt to other people’s needs. Selling is about communication, rapport and collaboration, and this is such an important trait to develop and be able to adapt.
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