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Are Your Customers Doing Their Homework?

by David Brock on October 4th, 2022

Hank Barnes’ research on buyer remorse (and other things) is some of the most important research for sellers to understand. He recently wrote a post, “Who Is Responsible For Expectations?”

It’s best to read his research, but a net summary of one of his points is, “Buyers who have put less time in doing their homework, up front; those that engage only at a superficial level, have a much higher degree of remorse, for those decisions they make.”

This is a key issue, if your customer isn’t committed to doing the work, if they are taking shortcuts through their buying process; are these really high quality deals. We may have won the opportunity, but created the customer from hell!

Yes, we got the order, but the customer has a much higher likelihood of being dissatisfied. What do we have to invest in reversing that remorse, how to we help the customer become satisfied. If we can’t, what’s the likelihood of retaining and renewing that business.

Or what brand damage does that customer create? What is the impact of their negative references about their experience with our products?

Sometimes, we mistake this behavior. We think it’s much easier. They aren’t asking a lot of questions, they seem not to need much help, they may be going through the process more quickly than those “pain in the ass” customers that are really going into the detail.

Some years ago, jokingly, I made a comment to one of these prospects, “I’m selling as hard as I can! I hope you are buying as hard as you can……” At first the customer was a little offended, then he asked, “Why are you saying this?”

I explained that he didn’t seem to be asking the questions or looking at the issues or involving the right people. We discussed what I had seen in other situations and why I was concerned about what he and his team were doing.

We discussed whether they really understood what they were trying to do. Did they understand the issues, did they understand the risks, did they have clear alignment around what they were trying to achieve and why it was important? Were they doing the homework they should have been doing? Were they asking the right questions?

The discussion ended up being very useful for the prospect. He recognized they weren’t taking things seriously, though it was important to them. He then asked the most amazing thing, “Dave, can you help us figure out what we should be doing? Can you help us make sure we are making a high quality decision?”

Customers and prospects who aren’t doing their homework need our help! We create great value by helping them understand what they need to do to make a high quality decision.

However, if, despite everything you do, the customer isn’t doing their homework, if they aren’t doing the things we would normally expect, your “spidy sense” might cause you to disqualify them. While you might be able to win the deal, do you really want a customer from hell?

From → Transformation

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