“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” – Albert Einstein
With increasingly complex sales cycles and buyer journey’s, salespeople need to stay at the top of their game all the time.
Although the competition is fierce, salespeople are completely in charge of their pipeline. Rather than blaming it on rusty pipelines, the product line, a bad month. etc., salespeople often need to brainstorm on different ways on how to approach buyers and win them over.
There are many instances where buyer’s want to interact with a salesperson. This time period is what salespeople should leverage.
HubSpot identified the following sales statistics: 19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during the awareness stage, 60% want to connect with sales during the consideration stage, and 20% want to talk during the decision stage of their buyer’s journey.
Let’s take a look at the different strategies salespeople can use to approach buyers.
While it is important to brainstorm different ways to approach a buyer, there are few things that need to be defined before you start. Let’s take a look at what they are.
An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a fictitious organization for which your product or service would ideally solve for. This is an ideal customer that readily buys your product or service, remains loyal, and is likely to recommend your product or service.
A more simpler way to approach ICP is to ensure that your product or service is defined from a customer’s perspective.
Simple pointers to guide you along the process of developing your ICP are as follows:
Defining how your product or service will add value to your customers.
Identifying who your “ideal” and “not so ideal” customers are for your product or service.
Determining what pain points your product or service will solve for your “ideal” customers.
Narrowing down your geographical locations to target your ideal customers.
This will allow your sales teams to set the narrative on how your product or service is different from your competitors. Whether you are a novice or a veteran business, defining your unique selling proposition is crucial.
It will not only help your salespeople to position a product or service better for your customers, but will also help with how your customers perceive your brand.
Some of the key criteria to consider when creating your USP are:
What value will your product or service deliver to your customers?
Why will customers buy from you?
What sets your product apart from your competitors?
One of the tenets of how to approach buyers and win them over is to be clear on what your brand wants to communicate.
Effective brand communication requires not only strategies on how to achieve it but also a modicum of creativity. Ensuring your brand is well positioned in the marketplace is like a gift that keeps on giving.
An impeccably designed brand positioning allows you to interact with your customers with stories that will engage them on a personal level.
It will offer them a clear distinction of why your brand and products are different from the rest of the competition out there.
When your customers are satisfied with your brand’s products or services, they in turn act as brand ambassadors who are likely to attract more customers on your behalf to your brand.
Once you have defined your ideal customer profile, unique selling propositions, and your brand positioning, you can dive into what strategies to implement to approach buyers and win them over.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
— Seth Godin
This strategy is one of the simplest strategies to implement when you need to approach buyers. If you are not clear on who the right buyers are for your product or service, then everything you have done so far is a waste of time.
Therefore, to identify who the right buyers to approach are for your product or service, the following key points should be addressed:
Identify your target buyers: This is a crucial point to be addressed. Figure out what your target market is and build profiles for potential customers you want to attract.
Identify the pain points of your target buyers: By doing so, you will be able to get a head start on addressing pain points of your buyers. This will give you an edge when you interact with your buyers.
Identify the right channels and develop your messaging: In this step, you need to focus on identifying the right channels ( calls, emails, chat, videos, and more) and messaging you want to use to approach buyers to win them over.
Personalization does not mean just adding the first name/last name of your buyer in an email. It goes beyond that. It is the overall scope of content you create and use to attract buyers.
Start by learning about your buyers. Social media can be your best friend especially when you want to learn more about your buyers. Spend time on research to learn what they do and what they care about.
You do not need to spend days researching your buyers. Spending as little as 10 minutes on each buyer is enough. Below are a few places where you can find information about your buyers:
LinkedIn (Personal and company accounts
Twitter (Personal and company accounts)
While this list is not exhaustive, it is a good place to start. Collect and record all this information in one place (spreadsheets, CRM, etc.).
This way you will not forget anything and the information can be leveraged effectively.
Have you ever entered a store and a salesperson immediately descends on you and asks you if you want to buy a specific product? Well, I have and it is the worst.
These kinds of situations are a huge turn off for potential buyers. You do not want to be that salesperson who is only focused on selling.
In the scenario mentioned above, a smart salesperson would have started the conversation with the buyer by asking, “How are you doing today?” or “What are you looking for and how can I assist you?”.
They can even make small talk like, “This color looks great on you. It brings out your eyes”. Once you bring a smile to your buyer's face, the salesperson can move on to ask qualifying questions like, “I understand you are looking for a formal dress. Is it for an interview?”.
Similarly, while working on your B2B outreach, use the information you found during your research to understand what makes your buyer who they are.
For example: If you buyer lives in Philadelphia, then you can start the conversation by mentioning your craving for a Philly burger, or by asking what are some of Philly’s classic food items to try should you visit the next time.
At the end of the day, a human being is present at the end of that email or outreach you send. So talk to them as you would talk to a human being before speaking to them as a salesperson.
Before being a salesperson, be a contributor first. Just because you are aware of how your product or service solves a problem, does not mean that your buyer is aware of the same.
Consequently, avoid pitching from the get go. This could potentially anger or scare your buyer away. Rather, focus on offering your help. Not sure on how you can do this? Simple—just ask.
For example: You can contribute by sending a piece of content that is relevant to your buyers’ needs. You can also play to your strengths and offer your expertise on the trends you are seeing in your industry that your buyer may not be aware of.
By doing so, you will find that your buyers are more receptive to you and will be more likely to figure out that your product or service can solve their problems.
Remember: No matter how much time you spend researching your buyer, there are always going to be gaps in your research. With these existing gaps, it will not be possible to solve their problems if you do not fully understand them.
Therefore, it is important to ask a lot of questions during your conversations with the buyer to bridge the gap that exists in your research.
Here are some questions you could potentially ask your buyer:
What features are the most important to you and your team?
How crucial is solving this problem for you?
What stop gap arrangements are you using to solve this problem currently?
How is this impacting the performance of your and your team?
Can you give me an example?
In an ideal scenario, what would you like to see happen with this?
To sum up—Be curious. Prepare a list of questions beforehand and use it as a starting point for your conversations with buyers.
Once you ask a question, stay silent long enough to really hear what your buyer is saying. Do not focus on waiting for your turn to speak.
After they have finished speaking and expressing themselves, repeat what you have heard and ask for clarifications. Pose questions if you want to understand further.
This is called active listening.
A prospective buyer receives countless emails and other outreach messaging every single day.
Therefore, it is important to always remember that your buyers are human beings. They want to be treated as such.
Always ask yourself—if you received this email, would you be able to appreciate it? Or the voicemail you just left, is it useful to you buyer? If you do not appreciate these actions then there is a good chance that your buyer will not as well.
It doesn’t always have to be business. Treat your buyers as they would want to be treated. Spend time building a relationship with them.
Whoever said “ Relationships are easy”? No one.
The same is reflected when you are trying to approach buyers as well. It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to close a deal (just like relationships!).
So invest the time needed to research and understand your buyer’s needs thoroughly so you can build lasting relationships with them.
Implement the 6 simple strategies in this blog to achieve new levels of sales success and genuine buyer relationships.