Buyer preferences are the beliefs you or your prospect have about how you make a purchase. Yesterday we looked at the Foot In The Door technique, and I noted how it shows more about the head trash of the salesperson than anything else. Let me expand upon that.
Each one of us has ideas floating around in our head about how to buy. These are buyer preferences. Many of these are unconscious beliefs; we don't even know we have them. Beliefs about:
- risk, and how much money we can trust the vendor with to start ("We'll start off at $200/month and see how it goes")
- how long to take before making a decision ("I need to take at least a night to sleep on it")
- the way we'd like to be communicated with ("Give me all the data in a spreadsheet")
- geographic proximity ("I only want to deal with local providers")
- buying platforms ("There's no way I'd ever buy a car or a suit online")
- salespeople ("All salespeople are slimeball tricksters who will say anything to get an order")
- and more!
Two huge issues arise from these beliefs.
First, we believe other people have the same buyer preferences as us.
Second, unsupportive buyer preferences held by the salesperson make selling more difficult!
Other People Do Not Share Our Buyer Preferences
Contrary to our instant belief, other people do not share our buying preferences. Oh, I'm sure some do. Somewhere out there. But the majority of others? No. No way.
Just because you believe risk needs to be controlled, and can only trust someone new with a small amount of money, doesn't mean they believe that. For example, many business owners want someone they can trust to hand the problem over to, and be assured it's being taken care of competently--and if the price is higher than another vendor's, so be it.
If you stick with believing other people have buying preferences that are carbon copies of yours, you'll miss out on sales. Wouldn't it be a good idea to find out what your prospect's buyer preferences are?
You Had Better Get Your Buyer Preferences Aligned with Your Sales Desires
What happens when you believe it's OK for buyers to shop around?
And you take that with you in to the sales conversation?
Surprise, surprise...you'll figure out a way to allow the prospect to shop around.
This is called an unsupportive buyer preference. It doesn't support you selling. The best thing you can do is identify and get rid of it.
Start thinking about your buying preferences. Bring them out into the light of day. Turn them over. See whether you really should be holding onto them--whether they actually make sense or not. Or are they hand-me-downs from your parents?
Align your buying preferences with your sales desires, and you'll make selling a whole lot easier on yourself. You'll also begin attracting prospects who are qualified to work with you.
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