Mistakes & Improvements

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Nov 24, 2009 11:24:50 AM

Mistakes & ImprovementsThe people over at just completed an interesting study on The Sales Mistakes That Turn Buyers Away.  They interviewed more than 200 buyers to find out what major problem they experience when buying services, and what areas of improvement would have the greatest impact in increasing the likelihood they would buy.  The study focuses on the sale and purchase of professional services, but don't ignore this study if you're not a professional services firm.

According to the study 80% of buyers experience at least one major problem during the purchasing process. Now my bet is that if we asked the sales side how often they made a major mistake, that number would come in well below 80%.  This means that even if you think you're not making one of these mistakes, you probably are.

Another statistic that jumped out at me is how loyal customers are to their current provider.  If you're looking for new business, the news is great, however if you're looking to keep your business, it's scary.  Depending on the industry, a whopping 52% to 72% of buyers would consider switching providers. So, if you're complaining about the economic downturn - STOP - get out there and start winning business.

The study combined two important questions to allow selling organizations to focus on areas of improvement.  First, they determined what the high probability mistakes are, then they determine what the high impact areas were.  High impact areas were areas that received greater than 90% positive response to the question "would you be more likely to consider a new providers services if they improved in a specific area."

Here are the top three impacts (none surprising if you read this blog):

  1. Craft a compelling solution to my needs.

  2. Listen to me.

  3. Understand my needs.

Of course, if you don't master the second and third points, there's no way you can master the first.

So, there you have it.  Another way of saying, "understand the customer better than the customer understands themselves," and "sell results."  It's that simple.

Topics: B2B Sales Strategy, Sales Training/Coaching