Buying Decisions-Rational?

After decades of personal selling and observing others sell, I am convinced most buying decisions are based on emotions rather than on a rational basis. The ratio of the two motivators varies with the individual buyer and the circumstances at the time, but clearly the seller must always be aware of the emotional component of the decision process. Having the best product, service, price, warranty, etc. does not ensure a sale.

Here’s a sampling of some of the non-rational reasons I have observed buyers employ in their buying decisions.

  • They like salesperson personally.
  • They have something in common with salesperson, like attending the same school.
  • Seller is friendly with their boss, or boss told them to buy.
  • The previous buyer bought from current vendor.
  • They perceive seller is friendly with someone in top management.
  • Something in your offer positively impacts their bonus. (This may be rational from their personal viewpoint, but their job is to find the best deal for their employer.)
  • They receive some personal gain from the seller.
  • The seller is great looking.
  • The seller is a stylish dresser.

 

There are an infinite number of emotional decisions involved in buying decisions. The buyer may be unaware of them.

So, if you are a seller and you know that your product or service is clearly superior to the one being currently bought by the buyer, do not assume he will switch to you. Do your homework and try to determine everything you can about your buyer to understand his/her emotional buttons so you can put them in play in addition to your rational approach. Your persistency can eventually overcome a buyer’s emotional bias.

If your many attempts fail, you might approach the buyer’s boss with your strong rational arguments that can trump the buyer’s emotional decision-making.

 

 

 

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FREE GUIDE — SALES REPS & HOW THEY BENEFIT SMALL BUSINESSES

By Bob Reiss

Sales Reps & Small BusinessI was a national sales rep for 14 years before switching sides and founding or co-founding 16 start-ups, one of which made the INC 500 list three years in a row. . .So, I feel qualified to speak on this subject, which I think is misunderstood and not taught at school. This is why I’ve written this comprehensive and practical Guide to help Sales Reps and Manufacturers understand each other better, to create a positive partnership that will yield more profits for each, and extend the duration of the partnership.

Too often this relationship is adversarial. It shouldn’t be, as both factions need each other.

Clearly, Sales Reps turn the fixed cost of sales into a variable cost and just as importantly, provide immediate access to hard to reach customers.

Here is the table of contents for this Guide:

  • Rep Commissions
  • Who Becomes a Rep
  • Why Work with a Rep?
  • How to Find and Select a Rep
  • Rep complaints about Manufacturers
  • Manufacturers complaints about Reps
  • Training Reps
  • A Tip for Reps
  • Advice for Both Parties
  • Both Parties Tip
  • The Future of Reps

To get your free copy, go to: www.bootstrapping101.com/guide

You also might want to pass this information to a friend or associate who might benefit from it.

LISTENING INSTEAD OF HEARING

Why is it that in most business and social encounters the mouth is employed much more than your two ears? Many people think they are listening when they are just hearing. If your ears are healthy, hearing is an automatic anatomical response to sound in your vicinity. It takes no effort or skill.

 

On the other hand, good listening, which uses the same two ears as hearing, takes focus and is a skill that can be learned. The most common mistake in good listening is that while someone is talking, you are thinking about what you are going to say. The consequences of that is the other party quickly realizes you weren’t listening to them, as your remarks did not take into account what you should have just heard. Not exactly a confidence builder.

 

How many times have you been introduced to someone and almost immediately forgotten their name? You didn’t forget. You just didn’t really hear it.

 

This listening thing is a big deal. It affects all phases of your business and personal life. In my opinion, it is the key component of successful selling. If you ask good questions and then really listen, most buyers will eventually tell you how to sell them. Silence many times is your best friend. Successful negotiators are good listeners. They learn what’s really important to the other party through good listening. They can then speak to address their concerns and priorities.

Good listening is a major trust builder. People want to know that their opinions are being heard. They will have confidence and trust in people who listen to their point of view, even if they don’t share it. This applies to your employees, peers, customers, suppliers, family members, and all earthlings you meet.

 

Understand that humans process ideas faster than they can be delivered verbally. This makes it easy for your mind to wander when listening. Patience is required to focus.

 

Good listening will improve your relationships at home. Don’t come home and bring all your problems to the dinner table if you aren’t willing to listen to everyone else’s concerns and activities.

 

There is an abundance of books and videos available on the subject. However, just being aware of the situation will make you a better listener. You can always improve on this skill.

 

I strongly believe listening is a life skill that should be a mandatory course beginning in high school.

 

A MAN LIVED BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND SOLD HOT DOGS.

My blog mission statement: “Offer Practical Tips to Small Business Entrepreneurs to Grow their Business Profitably and Fun Thought Provoking Anecdotes.”

Here is one of the anecdotes. I have collected these stories over the years, and I have no idea who created or sent it. If I did, I would surely attribute them to the author.

A Man Lived by the Side of the Road and Sold Hot Dogs.

He was hard of hearing, so he had no radio.

He had trouble with his eyes, so he read no newspapers.

But he sold good hot dogs.

He put up a sign on the highway, telling how good they were.

He stood by the side of the road and cried: “Buy a hot dog, Mister.’

And people bought.

He increased his meat and roll orders.

He bought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.

He got his son home from college to help him.

But then something happened. . .

His son said, ‘Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio? If money stays ‘tight,’ we are bound to have bad business. There may be a big depression coming on. You had better prepare for poor trade.”

Whereupon the father thought, “Well, my son has gone to college. He reads the papers, and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know.”

So the father cut down on his meat and roll orders.

Took down his advertising signs.

And no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell hot dogs.

And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight.

“You’re right, son,” the father said to the boy.

“We are certainly headed for a depression.”

This story is very applicable in today’s retail economy. Most retailers of all sizes, fearing weak sales in this recession, plan for reduced sales and therefore buy less, particularly in the short holiday season. Therefore, like the hot dog man, their sales will decrease. . .a self fulfilling prophecy. The suppliers know this and most of them keep their inventories on hand low, fearing they will get stuck with them. The opportunity for smart suppliers is to reduce the manufacturing time dramatically so they can quickly supply the retailers with reorders while minimizing the risk.

NO, a keyword for successful selling!

Would you believe NO can get you a good Yes? Yes, it’s true; sometimes NO is the keyword for successful selling.

In all negotiations and selling which falls into that category, you need to understand the other person’s needs, job responsibility, and goals. One of the major responsibilities of a buyer is to get the best deal they can for their company.

So, when you, the seller, get pushed, cajoled, and threatened for a lower price or more concessions, do not take it personally. It is the buyer’s job to do so. Your job is to get an order that is profitable for you and at the same time maintains your integrity. 
 
Although I believe a company’s major focus is on finding and retaining customers, there are times you must say no to a customer when their demands are out of line. There are a number of reasons why a no to a customer is the right thing to do. 

Take these instances into consideration:
If you just drop your price or give major concessions because a large buyer pushes you, they will never accept your deal the next time around as you’ve taught them to never accept the first offer. 

You need to protect your other customers and make sure they are not penalized for not pushing you as hard. You cannot put them at a competitive disadvantage. 

Your integrity is at stake. There are times when you need a particular customer or order. However, you should not succumb to the pressure of giving a better deal unless you get something in return, like a bigger order, better payment terms, free advertising, etc. 

Buyers might not admit it, but they will respect you more when you stand up to them. If your value proposition is good, your no will eventually become an order on your terms. 
 
Successful salespeople understand the value of a no. No is also a good word to employ in parenting. 

 Visit Bootstrapping101 to get more helpful hints for entrepreneurs.

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