In my book, “Getting Into Your Customer’s Head, I describe the “buy-learning” process customers go through when making an organizational buying decision. But don’t for a minute think that your customer is doing a good job of buying.
According to studies referenced in the leadership book, For Your Improvement: A Guide for Development and Coaching, over 90% of the problems that middle managers and above experience are ambiguous – it’s neither clear what the real problem is, nor what the solution ought to be. These are some of the same problems that you are trying to solve by selling your solutions. And the higher up your customer’s organization an executive goes the more ambiguous the issues are. As a salesperson, if you can tap into this lack of customer clarity on the underlying issues causing that problems that you solve, you will significantly improve your odds of winning the sale, because the salesperson who wins is the one who defines the customer’s true problem. Why is it that the most experienced salespeople see the customer’s need before the customer does? Why do salespeople come across as the “expert”, talk too quickly about their solution, and ruin the best chance they have to build mega-credibility at the beginning of the customer’s buying process?