The chicken or egg; what came first, the product or the demand? There are two ways of looking at the buyer/seller relationship. One, that consumers are important and that their wants need to be fulfilled. Two, that the seller runs the process and their needs are to be pushed on the customer. However, what most of us don’t see is that both are needed equally in order to have a successful and fulfilling process. You need the product and you need the demand equal fold. So, when marketing a product or during the buying/selling process, it should be treated as such. Therefore, alignment is the third and most valuable way of looking at a buyer/seller relationship.
Recently Forbes posted this article, “Are Buyers and Sellers Adversaries? 10 Sure Tips To Win Sales.” This article points out 10 tips to having a more positive interaction with a buyer. In other words, to make it les Us vs. Them. The tips are great, however it is not addressing all of the issues of the debate. It never truly addresses making sure that both the buyers’ and the sellers’ needs are met.
Another article posted, although in 2009, from The Relationship Economy titled, “Buyers vs. Sellers: Who Serves Who?” speaks to the changing marketplace. The marketplace of digital consumption and how it tailors to the needs of the buyers. This article points out the following positives about the new digital marketplace:
1.The experience of finding what we want
2.The experience of buying what we want
3.The testimony of others who experienced the process
4.The time it takes to do 1 & 2
5.The references to the value of a product or service we want
6.The price for value equation
7.The experience of using the product or service
“Sounds simple and yet many markets simply do not consider the buyer first rather they act as though they are more important than the buyer. This thinking has become transparent in today’s digital economy. Why? Because buyers now have a voice given the reach and richness of social technology and their experiences are shared everywhere.”
So it seems now, that in this new marketplace the alignment has been established-buyers can obtain all of this information through the web. However, with this new model it is now the business and the buyer. It is no longer the buyer and seller. Through the interactive websites, the comments and reviews of other buyers, the quick process, and convenience, buyers are certainly buying. But this in fact results in removal of the salesperson and therefore a commission and a salary into a seemingly dying field.
But what makes the salesperson not quite extinct? The need for human interaction. The people who become frustrated with the web experience and need to talk to a person. So there must be something missing. the one thing the web cannot do is LISTEN.
So, if the web cannot listen, than the salesperson should be adapting to the model of the web.
1. Be prepared with reviews.
2. Know the products-you shouldnt have to look up the information every time a buyer asks a question. They automatically feel that they can be doing that on their own.
3. Know the price relative to the market. If it is higher, than be ready to explain why it justifies it.
4. Keep listening.
Most people will admit that they love the experience and ease of buying from their computers. Intern, salespeople need to step-up to the plate and restructure their selling model to the new market place in order to stay relevant. Until computers can listen to the customer and make them feel heard-the salesperson is not dead yet!