Wants verses needs in dialogue
Procurement professionals often talk in wants: a lower price, faster delivery, more services. But just listening to what buyers say they want prevents the sales team from drilling down to the underlying needs, which is where sales people must be to differentiate themselves, their solutions and their companies.
Sales professionals must avoid having their solutions become commoditized, and instead turn their focus from price to real value, lowest total cost, and highest ROI.
There is a real difference between wants and needs.
To truly sell to and negotiate value with procurement professionals, the sales team has to dig beneath surface wants to identify, prioritize, and gain agreement on the underlying needs.
By understanding why the buyer wants a lower price, or faster delivery, or more services, the sales team opens up the opportunity to provide creative solutions that meet the real underlying needs, and, thus, close deals more quickly and profitably.
Needs fall into three categories:
High-performing negotiators know that to be truly effective, they must take the time to explore all three areas before recommending a solution.
As a result of pressure from KPIs, procurement professionals' and professional buyers' needs often fall into key areas:
Ask the right questions
Effective questioning uncovers a depth and breadth of needs, especially undiscovered and underappreciated needs, at the same time as broadening the buying criteria and involving the entire buying team in a more engaging, provocative dialogue that reinforces your value as an ongoing partner for innovation and growth.
The problem is that typical questions don’t stand out, and the quality of the questions suggest, to the procurement officer, the standard of the solution or service the sales team is trying to sell. Standard questions may serve the sales person well but are of no use to the buyer.
Tweaking the planned dialogue to include questions that dive deeper into the buyer's needs enlightens both sides of the conversation. Well-considered questions can help procurement identify needs either they didn’t know they had or solutions they didn’t know the sales team could offer.
When planning dialogue, consider incorporating questions that naturally
Combined with sharing industry developments and clear, innovative ideas, carefully composed questions help the buyer feel they learned a lot from a meeting and create the impression that the sales person understands the buyer, the company and its needs.
30+ years of experience helping salespeople transform their sales dialogues and engage with even the most challenging professional buyers.