What’s The Transformational Relationship Between Buyer and Seller?

I recently spoke to a group of Speaker’s, CEOs and Sellers and asked, “how many loves to sell and think they are a skilled salesperson?” Shockingly, only 10% of the room put their hand up.  Given that selling is fundamental to business growth, then this is an issue.

The reasons that many Speaker’s, CEOs and Sellers give are that they:

  • Have not had formal or recent sales training and lack confidence.
  • Do not feel comfortable selling and secretly think sales is sleazy.
  • Do not think it is part of their role and delegate it.
  • Do not priorities sales and so it never becomes a priority.
  • Do not plan and practice the skills and get it wrong.
  • Do it as an after-thought or ad-hoc; instead of a consistent process woven through everything they do.

My goal was to get 80% of the audience to think about selling differently and to adopt a consistent process that works for their personality, the personality of their customer and fits with their business model.

Even as buyers, we get annoyed by the sales hustle:

  • The assistant approaches you in the store when you have only just walked in.
  • The pop-up box that asks you subscribe as soon as you land on the page.
  • The fear to pick-up your own phone, in case it is a sales call.

Whether you are on or offline, we are terrorised by pre-Christmas sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Unfortunately, like a child B2B is following the parent B2C sales hustle.  In the B2B world, we have seen a rise of automation tools that auto-send emails in sequence, auto-dial phone numbers, to automate the persistent follow-up over weeks, months and years. Stop! The belief is if hustle had worked in the past, the more hustle the better.  Whether B2B or B2C, the comfort level around sales and selling is uncomfortable!

Here’s Why Selling Does Not Sale!

  1. 100% of your customers and clients are all online and 89% of B2B researchers use the internet during the B2B research process!
  2. 75% B2B buyers and 80% executives’ buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions, they are more influential, have larger budgets and buy frequently!
  3. 6 degrees of separation is now 3.5 on social
  4. 80% of B2B social media leads come from LinkedIn.
  5. 92% more likely to trust recommendations by people they know Digital Intelligence Today.

Nowhere in the about statistics is it talking about PRICE or PRODUCT, unless your references are pre-1999. The statistics above support that even B2B is now people to people. Buyers and influencers build relationships with people that’s sellers and other influencers.  They trust the personal recommendation before the product specifications or the supply company credibility. Buyers and influencers build relationships with people they know and like, and more and more this is through social media platforms.

buyer relationships Janice B Gordon sq2

Buyers Want To Buy!

Gartner report, B2B Buyers Want More Simplicity in Accessing the Right Information, With or Without a Sales Representation.

Rather than looking for more “sales hustle” buyers want relevant insight from trusted sourced whether on or offline. The seller must build more trust and deliver more customer value. Building on strong foundations drives long-term success and increase lifetime value and therefore secure revenue into the future. Building strong relationships takes patience, understanding and empathy, all qualities that AI and automation find hard to replicate.

Building customer relationships is by no means the easier path, hence, the reason why many sellers continue to hustle. It is a path that requires a change of mindset, process, expectations and measurement of interim results. However, it delivers more creativity, empathy and customer thoughtfulness. The statistic presented above shows that buyers are demanding these changes and sellers have no choice but to respond and change how they engage and operate if they want to secure sales long into the future.

There is not a shortage of information; the buyer can Google information on almost anything, what they want are meaning and insight, innovation and diverse perspective. The seller’s role is to focus in on finding the right questions that unlock deeper understanding, that challenges perceptions and delivers new insight. When the buyer or influencer says, “I didn’t think about it that way.” Bingo! Now you have the buyer’s attention, in amongst all the noise of information.

You cannot automate trust, it is not a straight-line method but developed over time with experiences. You can get to bingo, by consistently looking for ways to add relevant value to the buyer and influencer, which take a lot of background work to create the opportunity.

Scale your Sales System Janice B Gordon

Scale Your Sales Helps Create Your Most Valued Opportunities

Creating the opportunity is understanding your world, values strength etc. this is called Youology, buyers buy the person first. The seller must understand the Customer perspective, their business model and strengths, the industry and Environment. These tools are creating Scale Your Sales Resilience and Motivation of where we all are now and the foundations to move forward with clarity.

Now Scale Your Sales Personalised Productivity will help the seller understand what is happening right now with your customer, buyer and influencers with a detailed Profile and the Mapping of the most valued customers’ point of view and perspective. The seller can devise the Promise statement of intent, and relevant value added.

Scale Your Sales Attraction helps develop the most appropriate was to Engage, Educate and Elevate specific relationships. Through some automation and AI strategies or face to face with relevant value adding touch points, content and conversations. The conversation, like “Saw this xx and thought of our last conversation, here is xx report on what’s going on and here’s how you might want to think about it (valuable insight).”

The Scale Your Sales 6 Principles of Building Trusted Relationships

You Must:

  1. Get Found by the buyers and influencers who would find your solution relevant to their questions and problems.
  2. Engage with the right buyers and influencers who would genuinely find your ideas interesting.
  3. Educate with Value, always answering WIIFM and building the relationship with specific and relevant insights, stories and experience that help them move forward in their journey. Remember the sales call is not value adding to your buyer or influencer.
  4. Identify Most Valued Customers that deserve a personalised and prioritised investment in long-term relationship building strategies. You must know what is going on in your buyers’ mind and business, their industry and environment. Find a value-adding reason to reach out based on this knowledge, otherwise, do not waste their time.
  5. Commit daily to building non-transactional tied relationships with buyers and influencers, seeking to understand what is important to them and why; supporting and celebrating their successes.
  6. Build a relationship based on giving value then Elevate the relationship to a trusted partnership that continues to provide them with the insights to help guide the buyers along their journey. You become more deeply ingrained with their organisation expanding your breath of relationships as a trusted advisor, supplier and partner.

You must influence your influencers and build strong relationships not tied to a transaction but based on trust and giving value.

Buyers are looking for trusted personalities they enjoy being with, that help them on their journey and who challenge them, educate them, helps them evaluate a problem from a broad perspective.

When I asked my audience the question, “Do you now agree selling is not to sale but to build strong relationships so your buyers, buy you, your product solutions and then your supply company credentials?” The 90% of the audience responded.

When asked, “Could you do this?” 100% replied yes!

If you would like to talk about how you can Scale Your Sales contact us to schedule a call.

About the Author

Janice is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management. She is passionate about helping companies adapt their sales approach to the economic, social and technological challenges. This has led her to create the popular sales enablement system, Scale Your Sales. Janice is the international Key Account Sales Speaker, author and consultant, achieving many noted accolades including Sage Top100 Global Business Influencer 2017. Contact Janice to talk about Scaling Your Sales.

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