I was recently asked this question and thought you’d appreciate my response.
The buyer’s perception changes as a result of the salesperson’s perception of the selling process. Salespeople are often ready to provide immediate solutions to customers, before customers even need or want one. The more salespeople want the sale, the more resistance they may encounter, because they tend to serve their interests instead of the client’s. As buyers get closer to buying, they then expect more value, information, support and expertise from the salesperson.
To improve buyers’ perception of salespeople during each stage, salespeople can:
1. Shift their thought process: As they approach the prospect, salespeople must remind themselves,” I will provide value to you whether or not you buy from me.” If you look at prospects with sales commissions in your eyes instead of focusing on serving them, they will sense it, hindering the relationship between client and salesperson.
2. Ask questions appropriate for each buying stage. I.e., don’t ask car buyers in the considering stage what kind of financing they want.
3. Don’t overload buyers with unsolicited information. They stop listening.
4. Align your selling approach with the buyer’s buying strategy. As the prospect moves through each stage, be empathetic and connected to their needs. It’s one thing to listen to buyers, its another thing to make them feel they are being heard, understood and supported through each stage.