Be Easier To Believe

By Tibor Shanto

No one is saying you are lying, I know you are not, but not lying and being believable are two different things.  For sellers, it is less about telling the truth, and more about believability; if the buyer doesn’t buy the information and materials to support your offering, no matter how accurate or factual, they aren’t buying.

I understand the challenge for proud marketing and sales professionals, especially those who may be breaking new ground, truly innovative, and driving measurable results for the clients.  This leads to bold statement, “Big and Audacious” claims, attention grabbing, but maybe not the attention you are looking for.  But if the buyers don’t trust the statement, not only do these statements lose impact, but they could work against you.

It’s About The Buyer

Studies continue to show that not only are buyers not finding some of the information coming from vendors, both sellers and marketers, to be useful, or more importantly, believable or trustworthy.  Big problem.

In the past, I have posted about the impact of the information generated and disseminated (some would say spewed), by vendors, leading to buyers being confused and overwhelmed.  An outcome of which is longer “buying” cycles, often twice as long as the buyers anticipated when they began their buying cycle.  Let’s be candid, if it is taking twice as long as buyers thought, it is likely leading to buying cycles being three times as long as the seller anticipated, and more sadly, forecasted.

Part of the problem, and an opportunity for savvy sellers and marketers, is to help the buyer cut through, and help them make the right purchase, in less time, with less stress, leading to longer and more profitable relationships.  But this opportunity rests on the buyers believing what you are presenting.

I Don’t Believe You

According to many sources, buyers not only distrust the information and claims, coming from vendors.  For example, TrustRadious, in their B2B Buying Disconnect 2017: The buyer’s journey has changed, but vendors are not keeping up; raise a number of things sellers need to consider.

To start, buyers find vendors focus on providing material buyers don’t find very useful or trustworthy; ouch, is that why I can’t that call back?  This leads to buyers don’t trust all vendor claims, nor do they expect to.  Who can blame them when sellers make what appear to be making outlandish statements.  Consider someone who is having no success doing something specific, and they are presented with claims we have all seen:

Increase Blah Blah by 400%, or Decrease costs by 85%

No one is saying that these are inaccurate, but are they believable.  When vendors lead with the one or two outliers who did indeed see a 200% lift, but the average client sees on average an 18% improvement.  Why not just go with the average or mean, and build on that conversation, instead of leading with something the buyer see beyond their means, and therefore not worth reaching for.  As the report found, buyers believe vendors overemphasize selection criteria that aren’t important to buyers.  You’ve all seen this, marketing tells you to highlight “the cool features”, while the buyer drifts off to disinterest, and asks “What’s That For?”.

What’s A Seller To Do?

Vendors have a valuable arsenal of useful information they could bring to the game, believable insights.  They have current customers with real world experience using their product, satisfied customers, ready to share results.  More important than just statistical results, they can speak to specific ways they are doing things differently, impacts on specific elements of their business, and which objective they were able to achieve as a result.

This is not that hard to do, part of it is to implement a tight routine of reviewing not just deals, why you won or lost, but to review outcomes, from the buyer’s perspective, from inside their business, not around your product.  Doing this not just right after the purchase decision, but six months later, nine months later, a year in, and every six months as long as they are a client.  You can start with a simple tool like our very own 360 Degree Deal View, or there are some great tools that can be bolted on to your CRM.  If you really want to impress them, make the information fit, not just big.