Buying and Selling's "Heavy Lifting"

Selling is challenging. We need to uncover markets for our services and goods. We must determine if customers are interested in our offerings. We must comprehend the customer's objectives and show how our solutions are the most effective in assisting them in achieving them. In order to present our solutions effectively, we must be informed of the alternatives the consumer is considering. We need to influence the consumer to make a choice that, ideally, results in an order.

For more sophisticated solutions, this procedure might take months. The procedure may include dozens of individuals. While we know what to do sequentially when buying, consumers back up, shift, stop, restart, and change as they go through their process. And the majority of purchase ventures come to a dead end.

Managing a single customer's purchase scenario is difficult, but we also need to manage our whole pipeline. We must explore a sufficient number of possibilities in order to achieve our objectives; we cannot focus on just one opportunity. We need to seek many possibilities in the hopes of winning enough to meet our objectives since we won't win every opportunity and clients won't decide on many opportunities.

Just writing these few words has worn me out, but just imagine how much labor has gone into doing this.

We do have a few advantages in that we've done this job previously, and we've done it a lot. Working on these possibilities is something we have a lot of expertise with. We often repeat the same actions, to the point that we have established templates for our presentations, pitches, and demonstrations. We have a variety of tools and material that are designed to support us as we repeatedly carry out these operations.

But what about this process's consumer side? What about this journey's purchasing side?

Imagine the perspective of the buyer if the selling activities appear challenging.

First of all, they do more than just purchase (selling is our only job). In actuality, it diverts them from their primary duties. While concurrently attempting to make a purchase, the consumer must continue to work their regular tasks.

The majority of purchases are then made when a person needs to update something. They may be having issues with whatever they are doing since it isn't functioning as well as it could. Or they could be doing something novel or unique that they have never done before. There might therefore be fear and apprehension. They can be under intense pressure from management to solve an issue, boost performance, or seize a fresh opportunity. And if they fail, the repercussions might be dire.

The second is that they don't perform this every day. In fact, they could want to prevent it since change is challenging. They find it difficult to comprehend the problems and decide what they may wish to do. They may not even be aware of what to look for or what questions to ask themselves.

Then there are all the individuals participating in the process, each with their own opinions, concerns, and objectives. Aligning the purchasing group is like herding cats, which is simple.

Additionally, corporate goals and tactics are always changing. The purchasing group is distracted by new developments. There is ongoing moving and reworking since people come and leave.

Then there is the glut of knowledge! Whereas in the past it would have been difficult to get information about the issues and potential solutions, purchasing groups are today overloaded with information—much of it useful, some of it unclear, and all of it overwhelming. What should they concentrate on, what matters, and what may the purchasing group be overlooking?

The suppliers must also be managed, many of them are ineffective because they don't comprehend the client, their industry, or what they are attempting to accomplish. They often concentrate on pushing their products rather than connecting them to what those products represent for the client, potential hazards, and management strategies for those risks. Since they have presumably never done it before, the buying group must resolve this issue on their own.

Then there is their day job and the concern about what may happen if we make the wrong choice. What if what we do is incorrect or not the best course of action for us?

You got the idea, so I'll stop here.

Selling is difficult, and I don't want to diminish the hard effort salespeople must put in to succeed. However, we've been doing it for a while, so we know what to do, how to do it, and who to work with. We may use our prior expertise to our advantage.

But it appears to me that the purchasers are doing the bulk of the work.

What can we do to make it simpler for the buyers? should make sellers consider their options. How can we assist them in managing the process, change, and risk much better? What can we do to make it easier for them to understand what is going on?

It seems that we can more readily accomplish our own objectives if we can assist in lessening the hard lifting the consumer must do.

Maybe that's what we mean when we say "win-win"?

Thanks to Dave Brock at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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