How to Align Your Strategy with What B2B Buyers Want

BY Jessica Helinski
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When selling, do you ever think about what the prospects want from you, the salesperson? Often, salespeople don’t think about selling to buyers' preferences because they are so focused on their sales goals. “…What about the skills that buyers would like to see sellers exhibiting?” asks Deb Calvert in an article for People First Productivity Solutions. “Doesn't it make more sense to build skills that buyers appreciate, expect and reward?”

Calvert cites PFPS research that finds B2B sellers are mostly missing the mark because they rely too heavily on tired sales techniques. “Why does it matter what buyers want to see?” she asks. “Because buyers are more likely to meet with and more likely to buy from sellers who demonstrate these preferred behaviors most frequently."

To shift your strategy to a more prospect-​friendly approach, you must first take note of what prospects don’t like. The following are the behaviors that prospects recognize, and most importantly, react negatively to:

  • Opening the conversation with a canned message. Buyers want a salesperson who will speak to them on a personal level. Generic introductions and impersonal communications won’t cut it with today’s buyer.
  • Asking self-​serving questions. Don't ask questions that benefit you and your business. Instead, have a natural conversation and see what you uncover about the prospect.
  • Assuming prospects are uninformed. Thanks to the Internet, it’s likely your prospect has done his or her research prior to your meeting.
  • Overselling. Don’t immediately pounce on the prospect’s first indication of need.
  • Being irrelevant. Buyers don’t want to hear about what doesn’t meet their needs, so don’t pitch products or services that aren’t relevant or valuable to their business.

Once you understand what buyers don’t want, it’s time to align your strategy with what they do want. Check out Calvert’s article for insight into prospects’ preferences and more tips to improve your approach.