This is a hot topic because it happens a lot. Buyers take advantage of salespeople.
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with a number of buying departments, many times as part of the sales training I’m doing for their salespeople.
There are six confessions professional buyers have shared with me regarding how they take advantage of salespeople:
1. “My goal is to always keep the face-to-face meetings short.”
Keeping meetings short helps keep the salesperson guessing, and when they start guessing, they tend to offer better deals. Just as the salesperson is about to leave the office, I always make one more quick request to test them and to put even more doubt about me in their mind.
2. “Making demands via voicemail is a great way to get more from the salesperson.”
Making demands using voicemail prevents the salesperson from trying to counter the demand. By not putting it in writing, it also allows for last minute changes to get an even better deal.
This one hurts, because I personally fell victim to it early in my sales career. As a new salesperson, I was eager to make an impression. I felt I could do it by delivering excellent customer service. The problem was the customer service I was giving was in the form of concessions.
It didn’t take long for the customer to know they could make demands of me when I was sitting across the desk from them—and also by way of voicemail. One buyer, in particular, took advantage of me by always leaving me a voicemail 10 minutes after I left his office. I don’t even want to calculate how much I cost my company—and to think it was all because I thought I was doing the right thing.
3. “When I am slow to respond to a salesperson’s email or phone call, they start to feel like I’m not interested.”
The longer it takes me to respond, the more the salesperson will come to believe the offer they made is not good enough. Simply waiting a couple of days to respond to an email can often scare the salesperson into believing the offer isn’t good enough.
4. “I’m not going to put anything in writing unless I absolutely have to.”
When something is put in writing, it eliminates the ability to make last-minute changes to get even more out of the salesperson. At the same time, however, I always demand the salesperson put everything in writing to give me the power of knowledge, so I can use it against them.
5. “It’s great to make the salesperson believe I’m considering multiple vendors.”
Even if there is not another vendor, the salesperson doesn’t need to know it. Just by saying things like, “We’ll compare it with the others,” I know I can usually get a better price from the salesperson. No matter how much I may want to do business with them, I don’t let them get that sense from me.
6. “Slow is better. I never admit I’m in a rush to buy anything.”
Salespeople always believe a slow buyer is an unmotivated buyer. It is amazing how the offer will get better when I take my time making a decision.
Want to know more about dealing with professional buyers and other vital sales techniques?
The above is an excerpt from the book I recently co-authored with Matthew Hudson called Advisor Selling. You can find out more about Advisor Selling at this link.
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.