I don't mean do buyers sell to their customers. I mean do buyers try to sell you?
When Mark and Matt were growing up, they had a couple of friends named Steve and Billy that were brothers and the same age, class, etc as they were. They did youth sports and other activities together and as a result, Elaine and I got to be friends with Steve and Billy's parents, Mike and Jean. Mike was a mucky-muck in the purchasing department at a big computer manufacturing company.
One day, Mike and I were talking and I said something like, "Don't you think it's interesting that a purchasing guy and a sales guy should get along so well?" Mike replied that we weren't very different. As a matter of fact, we were more the same than we were different.
He explained that his title was, in fact, 'Purchasing Mucky-Muck', but in reality, he was a salesperson for his company. He had to sell his vendors on the idea that they should sell to him, rather than to some of his competitors. He had to sell his vendors on the idea that they should give him great pricing, terms, delivery, service, etc. and after his vendors gave him all that he wanted, he had to convince them that it was actually what they really wanted, needed and that they were better off having sold to him.
My perspective changed that day. I realized that prospects wanted to do business with me regardless of how they were acting and that I should stop selling and let them sell me. I also realized that the best salesperson always wins. So, when I'm the buyer, I put my sales hat on and usually get what I want, when I want it, the way that I want it, at the price that I want it, and the vendor feels like they won.
Enough about me. Fast forward 20 years to today. Now the buyer doesn't need to show themselves until they're 50-60-70% through the process. They know more about you, your industry, your competition than you do and you know very little about them. If they are also a better salesperson than you, is it any wonder that buyers wrap you around their little finger?
Seriously, is that the way you want it?
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