Having come from two consecutive procurement conferences this month, I can tell you as a certainty that buyers are tired. What exactly is ‘buyer fatigue’? it’s disillusionment. It’s burn-out from seeing too many pitches that go nowhere. It’s buyers feeling less empathy and having less patience with sellers. It’s that buyer’s are quicker to judge and unwilling to give another chance to vendors who they feel are wasting their time. So in the face of this buyer fatigue, how can you make an impact and in fact, how can you make a sale? Here’s what to do:
Do the Heavy Lifting
The heavy lifting for a buyer is to figure out how exactly your multitude of offerings could make their company perform better. Well, why don’t you do your homework as a vendor and already KNOW what specific problem you can solve for them. In fact, position yourself as an expert in that problem and educate THEM about why this is a problem and what to do about it. When you show up and throw up everything but the kitchen sink at buyers, they are right to be exhausted by the task of understanding your skills and trying to make it fit their needs.
Simplify your message, your processes, your order forms. Simplify your meetings, your presentations and your documentation. Dumb down everything down to Dollars and Cents. Stop using your industry jargon, use theirs instead. This will save so much trouble and engage your already fatigued buyer.
Let your on-line and off-line presence create the impression of a size, scope and expertise of a company that a fatigued buyer will feel safe hiring. Testimonials from similar sized clients within their industry builds trust. Case studies build trust. Expertly written white papers and articles which are placed in their industry journals build trust. Expertise niche positioning builds trust. Keynotes and breakouts where you’re speaking build trust. That’s what will penetrate a buyer’s fatigue.
Know Their Decision Tree
Each purchase has a decision tree that is made up of different levels of people who get involved in the purchase. Do your research and find out the positions and names of the people who make up this decision tree for that company. You can stalk (research) this on LinkedIn or talk to other suppliers who do work with your target company. Talk to peers in their industry. Once you start hanging around their industry events and start seeing the same people over and over again, these things become obvious. Then when you ask your fatigued buyer to invite the people who make up his decision tree to your sales meeting, you will impress and go far beyond any other vendor has.
Build On Their Disappointments
By having regular meetings with your prospects and specializing in their industry you will have the privilege of being able to find out in what ways are their current vendors are failing them. Then you can build solutions for those failures into your next sales presentation. Sell to your competitors’ failures.
When you meet the fatigued buyer more than half way with your strategy, preparation and research, he or she will want to do business with you every time.