Too many salespeople view their buyers as anything but smart, especially those salespeople who deal with purchasing departments. In far too many sales communities, there exists an attitude that buyers and purchasing departments are nothing more than barriers that need to be broken down.

One simple thing salespeople need to keep in mind is the fact that professional buyers see far more salespeople in the course of a week or month than most salespeople realize. Buyers have every reason to put up barriers, because the sales community in general can crank out some ineffective salespeople.

What do you need to know about buyers? Read more in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Buyers are smart—especially volume buyers like company purchasing departments. You should also know that they’ve seen every trick and every sales pitch known to mankind, and they know sales techniques to control the spend.

It’s for this very simple reason that the No. 1 thing you can do as a salesperson when dealing with professional buyers and purchasing departments is to be yourself and be positive. Your buyer will see right through you if you’re not being yourself. They’ll also see right through you if you’re putting on a front and not genuinely showing interest in their business, and the concerns and needs they have.

Many times when professional buyers decide to cut you off, they may not tell you right away—they may leave you hanging in the wind for days, weeks or even months. One reason they may choose to do this is to simply see how you’re going to respond or, more likely, to continue to gain information from you that they can then use to negotiate a better package with your competitor.

When professional buyers do this, they’re doing their job. You may naively think they’re being stupid, because they’re not being more forthcoming with you. This is where the real stupidity starts to come out in the salesperson. When salespeople believe buyers are not smart, they start to play bullying games back with the buyer such as trying to go around them to open up other doors. The only thing this does is further alienate the sales person from doing any business with the purchasing department.

As a salesperson, you can thrive with buyers and purchasing departments if you follow these simple approaches:

  • Be yourself
  • Be professional
  • Be engaged in genuinely wanting to help the buyer and their company

If you can’t do these things, you shouldn’t be selling. If you are not sure if you’re already doing these things, then I hate to tell you this, but you’re probably not. Salespeople who truly do care and are concerned let it come out in their actions day in and day out.

Source: Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, is author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price. He is a consultative-selling expert committed to helping individuals and companies identify better prospects and close more profitable sales.