Buyer Resolution Theory – the selling-buying process

Selling is difficult if you do not understand the buyer and the buying process

To be successful in selling, we must know a great deal about concepts and perceptions that exist in the minds of potential customers.  Without this information, many sales will be lost.  To arrive at a decision, buyers will always consider the product from their own point of view.  Therefore the salesperson should present the product in the same way.

In the past the product was often been the major focus of sales training.  Today we are seeing greater emphasis on the customer.  The customer has supplanted the product as the driving force in sales.

Some prospects are conditioned to display sales resistance.  They fear that a salesperson will sell them a product they do not need.  It has been said, “We all like to buy, while at the same time, we all fear being sold.  An understanding of the buying process will help us understand the defensive attitude that sometimes surfaces in selling situations.

The final decision to buy a product comes only after the prospect has made a series of smaller decisions.  In the field of selling, these decisions are referred to as “mental steps” in the buying process.

The buyer resolution theory also recognises that selling is a mental process.  This view of the selling-buying process recognises that a purchase will be made only after the prospect has made five buying decisions involving specific, affirmative responses to the following questions:

1.         Why should I buy? (need)

2.         What should I buy? (product)

3.         Where should I buy? (source – Why should I buy from you?)

4.         What is a fair price? (value for me)

5.         When should I buy? (time)

 Why Should I Buy?

 In many cases, salespeople fail in their attempt to help customers become aware of a need.  Thus large numbers of potential customers are not sufficiently persuaded to purchase products (both goods and services) that will provide them with genuine buyer benefits.   Buyers buy benefits (for them or their family/group etc).  A Benefit is a solution to a perceived problem – a perceived need. You need to understand the customer – better than your competitors.

 What Should I Buy?

 If a prospect agrees that a need does exist, then you are ready to address the second buying decision.  You to assist to consider the prospect that the product being offered will satisfy the need.  In most cases the buyer can choose from several competing products.  You must be prepared to present the features of your product in a  manner that is understood and is convincing.  Again, you need to understand the customer.

Where Should I Buy?

 As products become more complex, consumers are giving more attention to “source” decisions.  In a major metropolitan area the person who wants to buy a clothes washer will be able to choose from several dealers.  And there is also the internet.  This product is sold by many retailers.  The right seller benefits, supported by features creates competitive advantage.

Competitive advantages should be clearly understood.

What Is a Fair Price? – What represents (overall) value

 Today’s better-educated and better-informed consumers are very value conscious.  “Price” to them is not just the price you are asking for.  There are many other forms of payment or investment that they will consider (eg. Risk; Time) They are better able to detect “prices” that are not competitive.

An affirmative response to the fourth buying decision will come only after the prospect is sure that the product’s value equals or exceeds its price.

When Should I Buy?

 A sale cannot be closed until a customer has decided when to buy.  The desire to postpone the purchase might also exist because the customer cannot see any immediate advantage to purchasing the product now.

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One thought on “Buyer Resolution Theory – the selling-buying process

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