Wednesday, August 10, 2011

 

How buying signals have changed (and how to find them online)

Sales professionals have talked about buying signals for a long time. And traditionally, those buying signals have focused on immediate, ready-to-buy moments. For example, asking about price, time to installation, etc.

These buying signals still exist, but a whole new set of buying signals exist today that few sales and marketing professionals look for and leverage.

One of the greatest benefits of the social Web, especially to B2B sellers, is how early buyers start signaling a need. They don't ask for price or delivery time. They express a need or a pain. They describe an obstacle to which they haven't yet identified a solution.

Your prospective customers are also complaining about their current vendors. Expressing frustration with an earlier way of doing something (which they're still using). Looking for something that will help with this problem, but which they can't yet explain or articulate.

If you watch and listen, you'll hear prospects ready to switch. Some are still discovering the pain, others are actively seeking solutions.

But these are the buying signals that surround us every day. If you're not listening - if you aren't actively seeking the channels your customers & prospects are using to communicate, and establishing listening platforms to capture what they need - you're missing a huge selling opportunity.

Of course, how you respond to these buying signals is also key. Most of these prospects are very early stage, and will not respond well to a sales offer. They will respond, however, to advice. Help. A link to a best practice article. Someone who helps them discover and self-educate.

The source of that information has a leg-up a sales process that hasn't begun, but where the prospect is already becoming qualified and establishing solution preferences.

Your new customers are looking for you. They just don't know it yet. How will you respond?

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