What Does a Buyer Want?

Know Your Customers CartoonI recently interviewed a professional buyer at a customer company who was looking to move into a sales role for our company. I asked how she would use her current experience as a buyer to be a better salesperson. Her response was a nice reminder of what good salespeople need to do every day.

  1. Be Attentive: This means making my problems your problem. I want to know that your salespeople really care about my problems and my issues more than about just getting the sale.
  2. Be Responsive: Give me what you promised. When you say you will get back to me, then get back to me. Don’t make me wait (respond quickly and respond even if only to say that you heard my request and are working on it).
  3. Be Proactive: If there is a problem, issue, or delay, then tell me about it before I find out and have to ask you.
  4. Focus on my needs: Listen to what I say. Listen in order to truly understand what I need. Then give me what I want and need. Do not give what you want to sell me; and do not give me what you think I may want.
  5. Be Friendly: Be “good people”; be friendly and nice to everyone on my team. Be easy to get along with. I do not want or need to have to defend my decision to buy from you in front of my colleagues who all think that you are a jerk.

Out of the approximately 300 salespeople this buyer deals with, only three salespeople (exactly 1% of the total) satisfy all five of these points.


Are our salespeople part of the 1% or are they part of the other 99%?



About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
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1 Response to What Does a Buyer Want?

  1. Scott Hazlewood says:

    Hi David: After EVERY sales presentation and/or client/investor interaction, I glance/review my Qualities of an Effective Salesman Checklist to “grade” my performance as follows:
    1) Sincerity/Enthusiasm (interchangeable); 2) Personality; 3) Work Ethic; 4) Knowledge of Product (know your pitch cold); 5) Mental Attitude; 6) Product; 7) Appearance (if face-to-face). Keeps me sharp and in the game to this day over a 40-year career. Thanks!

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