Coach About Buyer Types to Help Close the Deal.
The Buying Roles
As a manager, it is your responsibility to train your team, so they have the best tools and knowledge to close the deal. One thing to always remember as a salesperson is that most buyers buy the salesperson, not necessarily the product. Because of this, it's always a good idea to get to know your Buyer and develop a rapport with them. Sometimes that can happen on your first call, but it usually takes twp to three calls to establish that trust.
One way to get to know your Buyer understands what type of Buyer they are. As a manager, it is your responsibility to coach your sales time to read the Buyer and understand the kind of Buyer they are working with. There are generally five types of buyers.
Innovators: These are the buyers who may request to buy something based on newness, uniqueness, or innovation. This type of individual is highly sort after as a salesperson because they come looking for you. Usually, this Buyer knows what type of product you have and how you can help them. The innovators are always looking to improve on what they have based on innovation, cost savings, or competitive functionality. Their request should be answered immediately and seriously. Proper probing will help you determine why they have sought you out and should help you decide whether you can convert their interest to a sale. These individuals generally are the flag-waver for your product and can help you get through the sales process with fewer objections by working from the inside for you.
Champions: By helping to determine the specific needs of their company, these influencers will help you quantify your product offerings. This group will set the standard that you will need to deliver for the prospective company. The Champions play a significant role in the buying decision because they rely on factual information and can make a logical argument versus an emotional one. Genuine arguments can hurt prospective sellers if the decision-maker does not feel emotional about the buying decision.
These individuals are familiar with your product. They know the features and the benefits that your product can bring to their organization and will champion the cause if you let them tell their story. They will help set the tone for the need of your product and can qualify all of your product statements with factual testimonials. The Champions can help fortify your companies' product position within a prospective firm because of first-hand knowledge.
Deciders: The final decision could fall into their hands. This group must have the facts based upon a cost analysis, features, and benefits, and return on investment. The salesperson must meet the specific request of the Deciders because they need exact answers to service, delivery, terms, and quality to make their final decision. The Deciders are generally the pen that signs the dotted line or cuts the actual purchase order. This group needs to be satisfied at all levels possible to close the deal entirely.
Buyers: These are the people who pay the salesperson's salary. All buyers vary in responsibility but will always make sure that they fight for their company. Generally, the Buyer's compensation is tied to profit margin and contribution levels of all company components. Buyers will create relationships with salespeople who understand their needs, service them when needed, and deliver when promised. Buyers may rely on promotional pricing to finalize deals, but they will also take a risk if the salesman meets their needs.
Gatekeeper: A door can not open without a key. Gatekeepers keep that key and must be regarded as a part of the buying team. These individuals may be on a lower level, then the Buyer or decision-maker and can be resentful if you do not respect them accordingly. Always try to give the gatekeeper credit for opening the door. Without them, a salesperson may not see the Buyer and never get to make a presentation.
The sales process is always a negotiation, and in life, we are always negotiating. The understanding of your Buyer's personality types and the different roles they play will determine how a sales process will go. Most of us have different needs that are triggered by "hot "buttons. When selling to any of these buyers' personality types, a sales manager must keep their focus on their individual needs. These needs need to be satisfied before a proper close on the sale can be made. After understanding the individual buyer type, uncovering the Buyer's needs, and then satisfying those needs, a sales manager must make the close on the sale. In my twenty-five year career, I have made the sale many different ways, but most of the closings on new customers followed this pattern and system, which I call "F Cubed." It also served as a proper name when I didn't get the close!