A sudden influx of new leads seems like a dream come true, but you often have to determine which type of customers are the best in order to assess whether it’s really a good thing.
If you haven’t yet grabbed a copy of The Transparency Sale: How Unexpected Honest and Understanding the Buying Brain Can Transform Your Results by Todd Caponi, get it before he joins us on the podcast in the near future.
In the book, he discusses the three types of buyers.
The active buyer
The active buyer is looking for a solution. He understands the problem and he wants to solve it. These are your inbound leads.
They understand their problem well enough to initiate research to try to find a solution to the problem. They may seek a quote for your product or service, and they are proof that your marketing is working.
These buyers are finding your website.
These buyers are also more than likely going to commoditize you. They are likely considering three to five different vendors and because they don’t have all the details about your company, they are going to try to differentiate you based on price as well as features.
Although they know they have issues that they must solve, they don’t care about the intricacies of your company. They simply need to solve a problem and get the best deal possible.
The passive buyer
The passive buyers recognize that a problem likely exists but they aren’t prioritizing it.
In his book, Todd compares it to the small problems at your house that need to be addressed eventually but that aren’t a priority right now. Maybe the handle on your door is broken or the blinds need to be repaired. It isn’t the end of the world if you fail to complete them.
Passive buyers will eventually get around to solving the problem.
The status quo buyers
These status quo buyers are happy with things as they are. They aren’t thinking about the future; they’ve learned to operate just fine the way things are. Imagine the guy who has a flip phone and doesn’t see the need for a smartphone.
He doesn’t want to change, perhaps because he doesn’t recognize that better options exist. Or maybe he’s worried that the smartphone will be too complicated and he won’t be able to learn it well. Change feels too complex, so he decides to stay with the status quo.
But what if someone could educate him and teach him to use the cell phone?
In my own experience, many of my most challenging leads were the active buyers. You might be thinking that these are the kinds of buyers we’d most like to have, and that would be the case if they were always perfectly ready to buy.
If my company was always the front-runner, that would be a great situation for us. But we’re not always the front-runner, and sometimes we’re simply an after-thought.
The buyer is likely considering several companies before making a decision because that’s how the buying department has structured its purchases.
The question becomes can we persuade them to buy once we’re having a conversation?
From my coaching and training experience, and based upon Todd’s recommendations, we’ve discovered that the status quo buyers are often the best ones.
Your job is to teach them and help them to recognize unconsidered need.
Consider the book The Challenger Sale. When we can open the prospect’s mind to something he doesn’t know about, we can create the possibility of change. If you can reveal the problem, you can be the front-runner.
Also check out the book Three Value Conversations to help you understand the education process that sellers must adopt.
You’ll ultimately discover that you have all three kinds of customers in your pipeline and you must learn to manage them. The perfect buyers that are the perfect size who reach out to you? Those are the unicorns.
You must prepare for all three kinds of buyers. You may even find that you’re better equipped to interact with one kind of customer over another.
I’d love to hear your insights about each of these kinds of customers and which you like best.
“Which Type Of Customers Are The Best” episode resources
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