An article I read recently in Target Marketing reminded me of a lesson I learned from a business coach many years ago. The topic: the three types of buyers you’ll encounter when selling business-to-business products or services. Since each one is motivated by different types of appeals, it’s important to know how to sell to each one of them.
The buyer types are:
1) Strategic Buyer. Often, but not always, this person is the president or the CEO. They’re motivated by the big picture: how is this purchase going to give them a competitive advantage, make more money or cut costs for the company? They look for proof of performance, such as examples of how other companies have benefited.
2) Technical Buyer. The technical buyer is responsible for making sure that the product fits the technical specifications of the company. Since the technical buyer never has the sole authority to say, “yes,” they’re often overlooked in the sale process. But watch out, because a technical buyer can kill a sale behind the scenes, and you’ll never know what happened.
3) User Buyer. The user buyer is the person who will actually use your product or service. Sell to them by explaining how your product or service will make their life easier.
Sometimes the three buyer types are three separate people, sometimes two or three of the functions are combined. Either way, be sure you find out who is responsible for which part of the buying decision, and plan your sales strategy accordingly.