The Buyer’s Process & The New World of Selling
By Tony Cole, CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group
The First Moment of Truth isn’t what it used to be. I’ve quoted this research before, The Zero Moment of Truth (ebook), because it helps companies understand that the buying process has changed dramatically. The first moment of truth in the selling/buying process used to be initiated by a sales person. That is rarely the case anymore because sales people simply cannot get to influencers and decision makers any more. The buyers are either out or busy! Buyers today begin the buying process when they are stimulated by something they have seen, heard or read from the dozens of access points they have via the digital / technology / internet age.
The first moment of truth for your sales people today may be the first time they’ve had the chance to talk to a suspect. What they don’t know, is if the buyer is an active or inactive buyer and if they have already begun the buying process. This person may already be in the ‘Awareness Stage’ of their buying journey or maybe in the middle of their “Consideration Stage’ of their buying journey. Identifying the stage is more important than finding ‘pain’ in this first moment of truth.
- Identify the buying process of your market place and match your approach to working with them to that buying process
- Understand that to get someone to move from the consideration stage to the decision stage, your salespeople must be more informative. Informative about things that the buyer doesn’t already know.
- This doesn’t mean ‘pitch’ them on the features and benefits of your products or solutions.
- This does mean that your people must be better at providing useful information, becoming a resource for business solutions and guiding prospects through their buying stages
Today’s sales person can no longer rely solely on traditional prospecting skills and behaviors to generate leads. Today’s successful sales person must have the hunting DNA but must also diversify efforts AND become more effective.
When we assess sales talent within an organization or screen sales candidates, we show our clients several key areas that help determine if the sales person or sales candidate has the aptitude and skill to develop new business.
As you can see from the exhibit below, very specific skills are needed to be a successful hunter. A hunter must be able to get past “gatekeepers” to reach decision makers, attend networking events and consistently prospect.
The world of buying has changed. It’s time to change the world of selling.
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