Sales is about Buying

Business success is not determined by how much you sell: it’s determined by how much your clients buy.

Enter: the Buying Cycle.

The more you allow your clients to buy, rather than trying to sell, then the easier it will be for them to buy, the more sales you will close, the more willingly people will buy, the more repeat business you will get, the shorter your sales cycle, the more referrals you will receive … Your business will be more successful.

Build a Buying Cycle.

Think about how your clients buy from you; not about how you want to sell. It is about enablement for your clients.

How many people are involved in the buying process? Why are all those people involved? If it is just one person, what does he or she want out of the transaction? How easy is it to make a decision, and on what is that decision based? How much time does the buyer need to go through each step?

This approach ties closely to one of my business mantras: it’s not me, it’s you. Everything decision you make as a business owner has to be about serving somebody else.

What is a Buying Cycle

Create a very simple journey for your buyers. They will go through the various stages of education, review, evaluation, proof of concept, and then purchase. You need to put yourself in the shoes of that client and consider how they will approach each stage. This will allow you to anticipate objections, or when they arise deal with them quickly, and you can create a journey that makes sense to the buyer.

As a sales person or manager, you must think of yourself as a sales enabler. Not for your team, but for your clients.

  1. Create your Buying Cycle
  2. Write it down
  3. Share it with your clients

Information sharing in business relationships is essential, even in a vendor/client relationship. The more you share your respective goals, the more both parties will get out of it.

If you are in a very quote-driven sales environment counting number of calls and emails in day, make sure you can position those quotas in terms of what they provide to the market. What your clients want is a cohesive journey, a coherent journey and a simple journey. If you get all the steps before the purchase correct, the conversion itself should be a shoe-in.

In Conclusion

Write out your buying cycle; include the milestones; consider the time in between each milestone; the deliverables from both parties. Put all this on paper and share it with your clients.

Over the next few weeks we will talk more about the specifics of the buying cycle, such as how to create one, what materials you can create to help move the process forward, and also the right balance between a strict process and a unique experience for each customer.