Buyer-​First Mentality Is More Important Now Than Ever

BY Jessica Helinski
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Buyer-​first mentality is the concept that really, it’s a buyer’s world and sellers are just living in it. This hasn’t always been the case. In the past, it sellers were the stars of the show and controlled the game. But over time, that mindset shifted. Now when selling, reps must keep the needs of the buyer at the forefront of the process. “Business decision makers are people, with feelings, aspirations, and struggles that extend beyond a job function,” writes LinkedIn’s Amanda B. “Prioritizing the relationship and putting the buyer at the center of the product selection process holds the key to success in modern selling.”

There are many ways that sellers can embrace a buyer-​first mentality. Amanda shares some trends highlight the need for this approach, but first, she defines it as:

Taking genuine efforts to understand the people you wish to work with, and ensure you’re delivering value in each interaction with them.”

Buyer-​First Mentality: Research reveals its importance

As mentioned before, the shift to a buyer-​first mentality has taken time. But now, due to the COVID-​19 outbreak, it appears to be as important as ever to keep the focus on buyers during the entire sales process. 

Research reveals that, in some cases, reps just aren’t meeting buyers' needs or expectations, and the coronavirus pandemic has made this even more apparent. 

PROS and Hanover Research teamed up for a study that highlighted how COVID-​19 has impacted buying. The following findings emphasize the need for a buyer-​first mentality:

  • Only one-​third of buyers said most of their vendors were well-​prepared to support them in a virtual environment.
  • Slow/​Inefficient responsiveness to inquiries are a top challenge buyers are facing from their vendors. 
  • 70% of buyers have changed vendor preferences due to the current conditions.

These findings spotlight the importance of a buyer-​first mentality, especially during this outbreak. “It’s clear that if sales reps aren’t prepared, responsive, and offering concrete value, buyers will look elsewhere or take matters into their own hands,” Amanda writes. 

Buyers are consuming more content

Buyers seem to be hungry for content, whether it be a webinar, white paper or simply a web page. Sellers with a buyer-​first mentality will be sure that these materials are readily available and accessible to prospects. As Amanda points out, sellers should “forge new relationships during this time by delivering timely, relevant, and useful content that satiates a heightened appetite among the buyer community.” 

Be ready with information, insights, data, research, and anything else that buyers may be seeking. This will not only meet their need for content and align with a buyer-​first approach, but also establish you as a valuable source of knowledge. 

Switch up enablement

Rather than focus on the concept of sales enablement consider shifting to buyer enablement. This concept aligns with the buyer-​first mentality and requires a thorough understanding of each buyer and their business. By truly understanding buyers, sellers can present solutions that are a perfect fit. Essentially, you, the seller, are empowering the buyer to make the best purchasing decisions.

After reading these insights, it’s clear that a buyer-​first mentality can propel sellers ahead of the competition. Additionally, the impact of COVID-​19 has further highlighted the need for this approach. As Amanda points out, “To best support customers in a complex digital setting where numerous vendors are at their fingertips, sales strategies should revolve around buyers and prospects; deeply understanding their goals and needs, responding rapidly to their questions and concerns, and delivering insight and value that make an impact.”