Often I’m asked about the use of AIDA methods when calling on b2b buyers. While it is true you should be using a questioning method in the b2b sales world, gaining a buyer’s attention is still an important element in the b2b sales world.
Since you do need to call on more than one buyer or influencer within the customer or prospect’s company, you need to be aware of the five blockers to the buyer’s attention. This is really important for the first time you meet a new person in an account.
Why am I talking about attention? Because if the customer or prospect is not listening or thinking about what you are focused upon – then all your effort is wasted.
So here is a key b2b sales tip – how to recognize and deal with the five common blockers in the minds of customers or prospects. These five include…
Five Blockers to B2B Buyer’s Attention
Since most people are suspicious of new people they meet, this is always the first blocker on the list. The mental question blocking you is the classic question – ‘Who is this person? & Why should I listen to this person?” Be prepared to just be yourself when meeting new people. Be totally open in your approach and watch out for being “clever” – which usually comes off as being a fake or worse a flake! Be yourself, be open and present your proposition clearly.(be bold rather than pushy)
People are creatures of habit. Respect their need for routine and doing the same thing as a habit. It is best to identify the buyers habits as soon as possible and then play the game within their rules – if you can. If you buck their habits too soon – you could be out on your ear with little opportunity with this person in the future. Ask questions about how the buyer does things, what is important to the buyer and how they like to buy. It is very important to get inside the mind of the buyer using focused questions to uncover their buying decision strategy. Eight questions is all you need to gather this important information.
- First Impressions
The researchers tell us that a person decides in 30 seconds if they like you and within four minutes they have validated and assigned you a label. WOW! 30 seconds and you either have the buyers attention or they are looking for reasons to terminate the relationship. Brutal information or exciting information – it is your responsibility to turn the flow of momentum to your side. Be aware of little things that make a difference – how you dress, speak, your posture (positive or negative body language), walk, and listen. All these little traits are being watched – even your handshake can impact the buyer. Pay attention to these traits because if you don’t, your buyer will be.
This one is tougher to catch when meeting a new buyer. However, if you are not aware of possible prejudices you could be wasting a lot of time and energy. Here is the catch – if a person has prejudices and has a clouded point of view about a topic – such as religion, politics, countries, race, certain things (things important to the buyer) and even football teams they will have a fired opinion. Remember, these people only hear and see what they want to see and hear. They use huge filters to keep out facts and truths that do not agree with their point of view. Stay away from controversial topics by always asking them how they feel about the topic.
I watched a b2b salesman fall into a trap of prejudice by making a huge thing about gay people and in his opinion what should be done to them all. Unfortunately for this sales person, the primary buyer was a gay person and the sales person lost one of his top three accounts in about 30 seconds of – off the cuff personal opinions. Morale to the story – watch out for loaded questions designed to drag you into a controversial argument where you will lose the account. And, keep your personal opinions to yourself while in business mode.
- Emotional Factors
Okay, I know I talk about the emotional side of selling and how you need to get the emotional win whenever you can. This blocker is about the buyer having a emotional disturbance in their life. These emotional disturbances are usually personal in cause – yet, move into the business world on a regular basis. If you find a buyer who is dealing with a death in their family or a divorce – you are now entering the world of emotional disturbance (family issues dealing with older parents or their children are now a leading factor in emotional distress.) The way to deal with these issues is to learn a little about the psychology of people – what makes them tick and how people deal with issues and performance. Then learn as much as you can about any personal disturbances that could be influencing a buyer’s thought process. Listen as a friend, offer no solutions unless asked, discover their mood patterns and be tolerant and empathetic.
These five buyer blocks to focusing upon your b2b sales propositions can totally inhibit your opportunity for sales success. Pay attention to these issues and use tactics and techniques to minimize the negative side and improve the positive results.
Your goal is to always reach a “win-win” situation with your customers. This increases your probability for a lasting long-term account relationship based upon trust and mutual respect.
If you want to know more about the “Eight Questions to Knowing the Buyer’s Decision Strategy” just contact me – Voss Graham at 901-757-4434 or use the contact form in this website to contact me.