The Buying Process, It Only Happens 1 Time!

By Dave Brock

Customers struggle with buying. There’s a huge amount of data indicating the majority of customer buying processes end in no decision made.

There a number of reasons this occurs, shift is priorities, lack or urgency/attention, fear of change, costs, and so on. One of the major reasons is customers simply struggle with the buying process itself.

When you think about it, with the exception of procurement professionals, and with the exception of things we buy frequently–for example toilet paper for the bathrooms, the buying process only happens once.

Since most of what we buy only happens once, particularly in a complex buying situation, it’s no wonder they struggle with the process and fail to make a decision. They’ve never done this buying process before! They don’t know why, what, how they should do this.

Let me be clear, it’s not that our customers haven’t bought things before, they have. They may have even bought some of the things we sell before. For example, they may be reassessing ERP, HR, Financial Systems. Possibly moving from enterprise based solutions, to cloud based solutions. They may be putting in a new manufacturing process, or introducing a new product. They’ve done all these things in the past and have purchased in the past.

But each buying situation is new and unique. It happens once and is never (well OK, never may be a strong word) happens again.

Buying occurs at a point in time. It happens as a result of a specific situation. A unique group of people, all with differing experiences, priorities, agendas, is the buying team for this purchase. What they are trying to achieve and why they are doing it is unique to this situation and this point in time. Even if the same people are involved in another situation at a later date, their agendas and priorities have changed, as has the situation.

On top of this, the possible solutions change. Perhaps we made a decision on a certain product a couple of years ago. That product has now become outdated (if you are in technology, it’s obsolete already). The potential solutions that might be selected for something we are trying to do today, are likely to be very different than when we addressed the similar issue a number of years ago.

It’s no wonder our customers struggle, they never done this before! It’s their first time to address this specific “Buying Process/Situation.”

Yes, there are some things that may be similar to past buying decisions. We may have addressed similar problems or opportunities. We know the general steps we have to go through—define the problem, establish goals/outcomes, identify needs/requirements, evaluate alternatives, and so forth.

But each buying situation is unique. Our customers haven’t faced this situation before and won’t face it again. As a result, why should we or they assume they know how to buy in addressing this opportunity?

What’s this mean for us, as sellers?

Well, each selling situation is unique. It’s different than the past situation we dealt with with these customers. It’s different than Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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