#10 is the most important in my list of Ten Ways to Lose . . . Even When You’re the Best. Here goes: You underestimate the buyers’ fears.
Often you and the whole team are totally focused on the great advantages that you provide with your products and services. You consistently make a rational case for the sale of your products, unaware that 99% of buying decisions are made on irrational, emotional bases, led primarily by fear of making a bad decision.
Unless you develop powerful ways to address the fears, you will continually lose your bids and come in second on your proposals. And second is the worst place to finish–you stayed in too long and you paid too much but you still lost.
This isn’t a new topic for me. See, for example, It’s All About Fear and Holly Buchanan’s guest post Wonder Woman and the B2B Sale. Nevertheless, many sellers have trouble coming at the sale from the perspective of what makes the buyers afraid.
You think the buyers are looking for the best solution–the most creative option or the solution that will get them where they want to go faster, better, or cheaper than the others. But in reality, they will go for a solution that will probably work and seems to be a safe choice. “Safe” as in, “I won’t get fired if it doesn’t work” or “I’m not going to be alone on this” or “I’m not putting my career on the line.”
To overcome this problem, you will need a collection of what we call “fear busters,” tangible tools to allay the buyers’ fears of change, work, internal conflict, and most important–making a mistake.
Assume that you scare them and introduce fear-busters throughout the sales process. Once they are no longer afraid, the buyers can appreciate the added value that your solution represents.