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Customer's Decision Process

What percentage of your customers have a high-quality process to make a decision regarding your products or services? - by Community Mailbox
What percentage of your customers have a high-quality process to make a decision regarding your products or services?
I can only answer that question if I modify slightly the wording.

Over 96% of my prospects are willing to engage in a high-quality process to make a decision regarding my products and services.

In many cases I introduce the process and they accept it often with their first consent among several. From there we engage in a progression of consent.

That is selling. That is closing. - by Ace Coldiron
What percentage of your customers have a high-quality process to make a decision regarding your products or services?
Few if any of our customers come to us with a high-quality decision making process in place. - by Jeff Blackwell
The following quote seemed appropriate:

"Very few people (less than 1%) have any skills or training whatsoever at handling complex problems. Traditional logical thinking and decision making doesn't help people solve complex issues and usually make the problems worse. (One of the traditional responses to complexity is to try and break it into parts. The results may be satisfying in the short term and usually futile and often disastrous in the long term.)" - -Patrick J. Sullivan and Dr. David L. Lazenby
- by Community Mailbox
The following quote seemed appropriate:
"Very few people (less than 1%) have any skills or training whatsoever at handling complex problems. Traditional logical thinking and decision making doesn't help people solve complex issues and usually make the problems worse. (One of the traditional responses to complexity is to try and break it into parts. The results may be satisfying in the short term and usually futile and often disastrous in the long term.)" - -Patrick J. Sullivan and Dr. David L. Lazenby

Both underlined statements are related.

The philosopher David Hume once said, "…reasons are slaves of our passions."

Each of us spends our day thinking about what we "should" do, "ought" to do, what we "shouldn't do," and what we "ought not do." Each of theses considerations involves moral and ethical values, which escapes the need for "high-quality logical decision making." In fact, “logical thinking and decision making doesn’t help people solves complex issues and usually make the problems worse.”

Logic cannot offer any foundation for me saying, “I need a new $110,000.00 Jaguar Convertible.”

While only 1% may have any skills regarding complex problem solving, that does not mean that 99% of those problems remain unsolved. Rather, logic and reason are not essential for making most of our decisions.

In the end, what we want is to be happy. Reasoning is an artificial construction borrowed from physical relationships found in nature. Connective facts are assembled and inserted. A simple example is “cause and effect.” This tells us that rain can cause floods but floods cannot cause rain.

However, where there is only technology or other science, buying software to assist in building a website is almost devoid of moral and ethical considerations. - by John Voris
I agree that very few are competent decision makers while buying.

I started my career on the other side (buying a lot of engineering items), and I admit I was a very honest, but a bad buyer. Most of my bosses were no better, though all of us had excellent educational backgrounds from premier engineering educations institutions.

It took many years for me to get a proper perspective, not only in buying but also about business, and even life, in general.

So, I normally don't judge customers' decision making process, as long as it is honest.

Ganesan. - by ezynes
Not many have a pre determined process so we've included a simple diagnostics element into our sales process that the client ends up taking ownership of.

This out line should illustrate.

Our sales approach is to offer diagnostics and fresh insights into our industry and the impact that it could have on how they do business.

During the process we offer up some observations on potentially better ways for them to conduct their business. Part of what we say is...

"now that you have come to see there may be a better way to do X, Y or Z, we want to put something on the table...its possible that you may want some other companies like ours to share their views with you...if you do, we'd like to help you come up with a checklist for engaging a company to help you in this area if you decide to take action".

If we have built credibility and they trust by this stage then we find that about 40% do business with us without engaging another supplier because we've helped them determine what a good supplier looks like, (process installed).

About 30% do invite our competition in and we end up doing business with about 70% of them.

I hope Ive explained this well enough ;sm - by Tony Dunne
Snowman,

I think this is an excellent idea. Particularly if the process you suggest is unbiased and doesn't appear to favor your own offer. In fact, when the client uses it, if your offer falls short of competitors' on at least a few counts, it could appear credible.

I remember, when I was on the buying side as a buyer, early in my career, one of the salesmen showed me a comparison chart their company had made (that's what he told me), showing the generic strengths and weaknesses of their offer vis a vis competition. He didn't allow me to make a copy of it, but permitted me to make take notes from it.

Ganesan. :~) - by ezynes
Not many have a pre determined process so we've included a simple diagnostics element into our sales process that the client ends up taking ownership of.

This out line should illustrate.

Our sales approach is to offer diagnostics and fresh insights into our industry and the impact that it could have on how they do business.

During the process we offer up some observations on potentially better ways for them to conduct their business. Part of what we say is...

"now that you have come to see there may be a better way to do X, Y or Z, we want to put something on the table...its possible that you may want some other companies like ours to share their views with you...if you do, we'd like to help you come up with a checklist for engaging a company to help you in this area if you decide to take action".

If we have built credibility and they trust by this stage then we find that about 40% do business with us without engaging another supplier because we've helped them determine what a good supplier looks like, (process installed).

About 30% do invite our competition in and we end up doing business with about 70% of them.
Excellent. However, I believe that the majority of salespeople would not be able to implement that tactic successfully. - by Gary A Boye
A minor edit of my last post (edit in bold):

"I remember, when I was on the buying side as a buyer, early in my career, one of the salesmen showed me a comparison chart their company had made for their salespersons' training purposes (that's what he told me), showing the generic strengths and weaknesses of their offer vis a vis competition. He didn't allow me to make a copy of it, but permitted me to make take notes from it.

Ganesan. :~) - by ezynes
Excellent. However, I believe that the majority of salespeople would not be able to implement that tactic successfully.
You're right Gary, to make this work our team needs to take off their sales hat and put on their consultant hat. It is however something that even our more aggressive sales guys have adopted because it works better than convince and persuade early in the sales call.

If we install diagnostics into our sales process then we can genuinely state to any prospect that they will benefit from the findings, regardless of whether they are ready to invest in the solution or not. By doing this we find prospecting and generating referrals much easier. - by Tony Dunne
Snowman,

I think this is an excellent idea. Particularly if the process you suggest is unbiased and doesn't appear to favor your own offer. In fact, when the client uses it, if your offer falls short of competitors' on at least a few counts, it could appear credible.

I remember, when I was on the buying side as a buyer, early in my career, one of the salesmen showed me a comparison chart their company had made (that's what he told me), showing the generic strengths and weaknesses of their offer vis a vis competition. He didn't allow me to make a copy of it, but permitted me to make take notes from it.

Ganesan. :~)
Yep! I totally agree here.;sm

We ran into an increase of prospects that were having a dificult time making the choice between our goods/services and those of XYZ company. We actually implemented a decision matrix with one of our service lines. Although our system is unbiased, we know our competition and the matrix clearly points to our solution as the best choice.

The way we overcome the appearance of favoritism is just as you described. We have a couple of evaluation points that COULD be interpreted to favor our competitor. However, the preponderance of the matrix's findings lead, technically, ethically, and truthfully to our company as the solution provider.

We conduct this matrix interview WITH the prospect. Once the matrix is completed we ask the prospect to tell us what its findings indicate. With very little encouragement or leading, we let the prospect come to the clear conclusion on their own. We feel that the conclusion becomes more credible and factual to the prospect if they are the ones that arrive at said conclusion. - by rgp3man
Yep! I totally agree here.;sm

We ran into an increase of prospects that were having a dificult time making the choice between our goods/services and those of XYZ company. We actually implemented a decision matrix with one of our service lines. Although our system is unbiased, we know our competition and the matrix clearly points to our solution as the best choice.

The way we overcome the appearance of favoritism is just as you described. We have a couple of evaluation points that COULD be interpreted to favor our competitor. However, the preponderance of the matrix's findings lead, technically, ethically, and truthfully to our company as the solution provider.

We conduct this matrix interview WITH the prospect. Once the matrix is completed we ask the prospect to tell us what its findings indicate. With very little encouragement or leading, we let the prospect come to the clear conclusion on their own. We feel that the conclusion becomes more credible and factual to the prospect if they are the ones that arrive at said conclusion.
Decision charts embrace the Obvious Selling Proposition. In spite of all the discussion about USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) Emotional Selling Propositions, the strongest motivators are when a prospect is confronted with the obvious thing to do. - by Gary A Boye
Decision charts embrace the Obvious Selling Proposition.
Hello Gary. For my own clarity would you please elaborate on this quote? Thank you. ;) - by Jeff Blackwell
Hello Gary. For my own clarity would you please elaborate on this quote? Thank you. ;)
A visual aid such as a "decision chart" involves a commingling of the senses. In a sales interview, its use allows the prospect to both hear and see supportive evidence. If the presentation also involved a taste test, another sense would be present. Encyclopaedia Britannica representatives were trained to ask the prospect to "smell the leather" when they presented their sample leather bound volume.

A decision chart has the purpose of tweaking a prospect's perception in a way that the "correct" thing to do is "obvious" with the information as it is now presented.

The E-Readers, Kindle by Amazon, and, Nook by Barnes and Noble are both quality devices with arguably equal value Unique Selling Propositions. A purchase of either can make the purchaser "happy" (Emotional Buying Proposition). A comparison chart I viewed before making up my mind visually proclaimed the feature Nook has regarding downloading books from the local library. In my case, that made my choice "obvious."

But let's go back and look at this post:

"I remember, when I was on the buying side as a buyer, early in my career, one of the salesmen showed me a comparison chart their company had made for their salespersons' training purposes (that's what he told me), showing the generic strengths and weaknesses of their offer vis a vis competition. He didn't allow me to make a copy of it, but permitted me to make take notes from it.

Ganesan. :~)
There's more to it than meets the eye at first glance. Notice the edification factor that the salesperson is using. Notice how he is sharing what is implied as privileged information with Ganesan. In effect, he is saying let's examine this third party information together.

Clever. - by Gary A Boye
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