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ADAPTIVE SELLING AND SALES SUCCESS Salespeople practice adaptive selling when they react to different sales situations by changing their sales behaviors. An extreme example of nonadaptive selling is using the standard memorized presentation, in which the same word for word presentation is used for all customers. The customized presentation illustrates adaptive selling because the presentation is tailored to the specific needs of the customer. From the Buyer's Seat 5.1 describes what one buyer is looking for in salespeople today. From the BUYER'S SEAT 5.1 WANT TO HAVE ME AS A CUSTOMER? PLEASE READ THIS As a professional buyer for a manufacturing unit at General Electric, I find that I'm busier than I have ever been before. So many things vie for my time and attention and I simply can't attend to every salesperson who wants to sit and chat with me. When asked "what do you wish salespeople knew about you?" I came up with a rather long list. Rather than bore you with the entire recap, here are the top three that I thought I should share with new salespeople entering the workforce in the 2020s: I hope you enjoy your career in sales. Maybe we'll meet someday. I'll be the buyer smiling if you follow the hints I've provided here. Source: Anonymous, names changed as requested. 1. It seems like each year more people in my company are involved in my buying decisions. Sometimes there are up to six people involved in a very major way. Why? Because a lot of what I buy is so important. My managers expect me to get more feedback from key stakeholders in our company. In fact, it is one metric that I am assessed on in my performance review each year. Another reason we get so many people involved is because the competitive landscape requires it. I can't take the risk of making a bad or untimely decision, because my competitors will jump in quickly and exploit my mistake. So, if you're selling to me, you have to understand you're selling to up to six other people as well. And each of those six likely have some differences in terms of needs, personalities, and longevity with the company. 2. My buying cycle is getting longer. I'm definitely spending more time doing research before I purchase than I did in the last few years. Part of the reason is that I am looking at more sources of purchasing needed items. And if I'm looking at more sources it's obviously going to take me longer to evaluate each and do the detailed ROI analysis that my bosses expect. I still need speed from salespeople, even with those longer buying cycles! I can't afford the luxury of waiting a week for a salesperson to get back to me with some needed information. So, please get back to me quickly, but expect I may not make quick buying decisions. Sorry, but that's the way my job is structured. 3. Yes, part of my buying cycle now includes social media and Internet searches. Actually, I spend a lot of time doing this, more so each year as information on the Web gets more available. So, if you don't have a social media presence and a good web page where I can learn about your products or services, I'm going to be less inclined to contact you to supply my needs. For example, last week, I looked up a web page for a potential supplier to learn more about a specific product. Imagine my disgust when the web page wanted me to fill out a long form before I could even look at pictures of the product and read descriptions of its capabilities. I know it was set up this way on purpose, probably as a way for salespeople to prospect, but it is frustrating for me as a buyer to have to jump through those hoops just to get some basic information. Please make it easy for me! 128 CHAPTER 5: Adaptive Selling for Relationship Building

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