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Cultivating Relationships with Five Distinct Buyer TypesPosted Tuesday, October 9, 2012, at 1:09 PM
In today's increasingly competitive world, it's vital to know your audience and what language resonates with them most. The most skilled in sales are able to identify in mere minutes the buyer type with which they're speaking and what factors most likely influence their decision to buy. Having this powerful information in your arsenal allows you to tailor your pitch accordingly and close more business.
There are five distinct buyer "types" -- the financial, technical, user and executive buyer, as well as the champion, if you're lucky.
It stands to reason that the financial or economic buyer is most concerned about price, as they are typically in control of the budget. Often, they are also the final decision maker. At times, they may be willing to sacrifice quality for price. This is often the buyer that asks about the return on the investment, so be prepared to demonstrate it.
While the technical buyer likely influences the purchase decision, they generally don't make the ultimate decision. Instead, they are tasked by the decision maker with finding options and making recommendations. They may have their own purchase motivations.. The technical buyer wants to ensure that what you're offering is the correct technical solution and that it won't cause them added headaches.
The user buyer is likely the one who will utilize your product day to day, and their primary interest will be how your product or service will help them do their job. That's why you might hear a user buyer asking about tech support or to speak to other users to see about their experiences.
The executive buyer often has the final say. First and foremost, they are interested in how your offering will help the company advance its strategic goals, generate more profit, grow sales, or drive more customers. This buyer might ask how your product or service will help them compete in the marketplace more effectively.
Occasionally, one of these four buyer types may transition into the role of champion -- so vested in your product or service, they begin to advocate on your behalf within the company. You may sway an already supportive buyer into a champion by simply explaining that you need their help. Champions seek ammunition to utilize as they overcome internal obstacles. Often, they will provide insight into key issues, schedules and the competition in play.
More often than not, multiple influencers weigh in on complex or expensive purchase decisions. You must identify each buyer type and cater your sales pitch accordingly to maintain control of the sale.
Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and CEO/Founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing in Memphis, TN, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).
Lori spent over 15 years leading corporate marketing and communications divisions in the financial services, hospitality and franchise restaurant sectors. As Director of Target Marketing for the Hampton Hotels brand of Hilton Hotels Corporation, Lori managed promotional, direct and Web marketing, as well as custom publishing, for the brand's franchise system. In her role as Vice President of Employee Communications and Development for First Horizon National Corporation, she managed the corporation's internal culture initiatives, communications, and employee recognition programs. Other positions held include Sr. Communications Director/Corporate Editor for TCBY Enterprises, Inc., and Vice President of Marketing for First National Banking Company. Lori is a founding sponsor and member of the Board of Directors for LaunchMemphis -- an organization committed to developing an entrepreneurial community in Memphis comprised of investors, entrepreneurs and local organizations. In addition, Lori is on the Board of Directors of the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South and on the Advisory Board for the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County. She is a sought-after speaker in the Memphis area, delivering sales and marketing keynote addresses and workshops to organizations like: the Memphis Chapter of the American Advertising Federation, the Sales & Marketing Society of the Mid-South, LaunchMemphis, EmergeMemphis, the Memphis Regional Chamber, the National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Lori holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, in addition to having completed the University of Colorado's School of Bank Marketing and Management. She is the recipient of numerous industry awards including local and district Addy's, Communicator awards, and a Telly. She received recognition as one of the Memphis Business Journal's "Top 40 Under 40" recipients in 2009. Lori also served as a contributing ghost writer for the renowned "Complete Idiot's Guide to Guerilla Marketing." Beyond her passions for marketing and dogs of all shapes and sizes, Lori is an avid traveler, runner and foodie.
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