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Buying Is Broken, What’s This Mean For Selling?

by David Brock on July 27th, 2021

It’s so intriguing, we see our customers and prospects struggling with buying. According to research, the majority of the time they fail in their buying journey, abandoning it.

And this is for people/organizations that recognize the need to change. It doesn’t account for those customer that don’t recognize they have problems and should change.

Buying is, without a doubt, broken!

One would think this would drive a change in how we sell. After all, if buyers aren’t succeeding in buying, it seems to achieve our goals we need to help them fix this problem. We need to help them succeed more often in their buying efforts.

Instead, we seem to be driven to do more and more of the same things. We increase the volume and velocity of our actions hoping to sell more. But this isn’t helping our customers fix their buying problems. In fact, it tends to have the opposite effect, it turns buyers off, possibly aggravating their challenge in buying.

Ironically, the issues causing buyers to fail has little to do with product/solution selection. Too often, they fail far before they reach the point of even evaluating solutions. They fail because they get lost in the process, they can’t manage the internal politics/agendas of people involved in the buying process, they get diverted and shift priorities (though the need hasn’t disappeared), they don’t know what they should be doing. They fail through fear and not understanding or managing the risks.

Yet we continue to pitch our products/solutions.

It seems we are caught in a death spiral, increasing failure rates in buyers buying, selling approaches that don’t help the buyers, instead aggravating the problem.

How would our sales results change if instead of doing what we have always done, we shifted our focus to help buyers succeed in their buying efforts?

What if instead of pitching our products, we help the customer better understand and define the problem they want/need to solve or the opportunity they want to address? 

What if we helped them learn more about the business issues, how others are addressing the same issues, where the challenges/risks might be as they move forward?

What if we helped them organize their buying effort? We might help them identify who should be involved. We might help them align the objectives and agendas of the team. We might help them develop and execute a project plan to achieve their goal.

What if we helped them identify the potential failure points in the buying journey, suggesting ways they might avoid or address them? If buyers increase their success rate in buying, inevitably, it would drive our sales success.

Until buyers become more successful in buying, our success is limited. Shouldn’t we be helping them solve those problems?

Afterword: This post was originally published on July 13, 2021. Due to a site error, all July posts were lost. I am republishing them. Thanks for your patience.

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