I’m in the market for a business-to-business software product. I’m pretty far along in my buying process and I have narrowed down my choices to three vendors. I contact them all.
Two of the three salespeople who get back to me are what I would call “typical.” They are cheerful, chatty, somewhat excitable, and they say things such as, “Let me be honest with you” and “No problem!” Half the time, I don’t feel they are really listening to what I’m saying, but instead are only thinking about what they will say next when I’m talking. I don’t have a good feeling about them being able to help me make a good decision. I can’t trust them.
The third one, though, is different. His name is John. He’s serious. He’s thoughtful. He is strategic. He listens more than he talks. He’s almost an “anti-salesperson.” He knows his product really well, and he’s honest when he doesn’t have an answer. He’s not pushy, but he is persistent – he sends me something helpful and interesting every single week while we are in the process of discussions, meetings, demos, and the proposal.
Frankly, it’s so much easier to move along the buying process with John. Every time I have a question, he either knows the answer or finds the answer. He helps me compare his product to the others. Is he biased? Of course. I expect it, but I don’t mind, because he has done his homework, and his analysis of his own product versus the competition makes good sense. What he says makes it easier for me to sell his product to my managers.
He also doesn’t flinch when I am concerned about an aspect of his product. “Yes, that’s true – we don’t yet support that process, in the way you are hoping. Our development team is fully aware of it, and is working on it. However, you can accomplish what you want to accomplish if you do [this] instead of what you were thinking of doing.” While this is not ideal, none of the other products meet my requirements 100%, either. Buying something this complex always involves tradeoffs.
John understands this and just keeps helping me see how I could do what I want to do, with his product.
In the end, John makes it easy. I will buy from him.