In a previous post, I talked about allowing the buyers who know what they want to do their thing and not getting in their way. In many businesses, however, buyers need help buying. They need educating, guiding, encouraging, challenging and persuading.

You may lament that your buyers don’t know how to buy. This may be true, but it’s a cop out on your part. They don’t know how to buy for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you don’t make it easy for them. Perhaps they’re too busy. Perhaps they haven’t acknowledged they need to buy. Perhaps they hardly ever buy this sort of thing – or even they’ve never bought this sort of thing before – and so why on earth should they be as close to this as you are?

We all make the mistake, once we’ve been in a company a while and have come familiar with how our stuff works, of thinking customers are interested in our stuff, never mind understand it.

Spend time thinking about your buyers. Think about the problems they have and the options they have to address those problems. For many businesses, even though they know they’re stuck in the weeds, it’s a case of ‘better the devil you know.’ Think about where they want to get to, what’s stopping them from getting there, and how your stuff can uniquely help them. If your buyers are sufficiently different for you not to be able to think about them as one group, then put them in groups that do make sense and think about those groups separately.

Think also about the steps they should take to buy from you, and what you need to share with them to get them to keep moving forwards. They don’t necessarily know the steps, so they will need evidence from you that these steps have worked for similar companies.

You’ll know your approach is working when they stop asking about themselves and start asking ‘how are other companies doing this?’ and ‘how are you doing this?’ And, who knows, if you illuminate the path well enough they might self-select and do the buying themselves.

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