Not every seed you plant turns into a flower

Buyers aren’t stupid.

And yet many sales and business people treat them as if they are.

There are many things that go on within the buyer’s mind when it comes to purchasing new services but as I shared a few weeks ago, much of their decision process is based around risk.

Buyers continually ask themselves big questions such as

‘Will this service deliver on what the salesperson says it will’?
‘How do I know this will work for me’?
‘What if I/we are different and it won’t work for us in the same way it worked for others

In their minds, they are constantly weighing up the pros and cons.

They want to believe, but they use their intuition, gut feeling, and investigative skills to dig further into the words of salespeople. They are on the hunt to check they are not being fed pretty words which show a lot but which mean little.

Most companies have case studies and testimonials. They roll them out to build trust and provide evidence of how good they are and these are important.

‘Can you show me examples of where the solution has worked’ is a common phrase that a buyer will use’ and you need to provide these details if asked to bring the solution to life.

But underpinning that simple question is also a concern.

One that buyers won’t offer share but one which they feel.

Deep down.

‘It may have worked at x location but where didn’t it work?

They must have had failures.

Where were these and what caused this to happen?

How can we avoid this being me!!’

Most of us who sell know the skeletons in our own cupboards…

The customers where it went to shit.

The solutions where we had grand plans but where it all went wrong.

We never wanted it to be that way and in many cases, we feel bad that it happened but they did happen.

We can’t erase time.

And guess what! The buyer knows this too!

They know deep down that NOT EVERY customer you have got the perfect result.

It’s just not feasible for every caterpillar to become a butterfly.

The problem with this situation is that the buyer deep down wants to hear the failures but salespeople try to avoid these moments like the plague.

They panic, they worry, they THINK that sharing details of the ones that went wrong will cause their deals to go south. Why wouldn’t they of course!

Why would anyone want to say to a buyer ‘Here is the customer who invested £x in our solution and who didnt get the return’

Those words there are a recipe for disaster right?

Not always.

You do need to be careful at these times, but sometimes sharing insights into why things didn’t go to plan helps rather than hinders.

The buyer will not believe you if you say ‘we don’t have failures’ and if you do say ‘no every solution has been perfect’ it is going to make them more worried than assured.

It’s going to make them think ‘that can’t be right’. There must have been someone where it didnt achieve the goals’

And when they think this, they are also then going to question other things you have said.

Maybe those case studies weren’t real. Maybe the business case they shared was made up?

The list goes on. Small niggles become big worries because you weren’t honest. You weren’t realistic with them. You weren’t open with them.

This email is not a blueprint for you to lead with your failures.

Far from it. If you have too many of them then selling WILL BECOME HARDER.

But please realise this.

Buyers can accept failures.

They can accept that sometimes things didnt work out as everyone planned. They like us all understand the world isn’t perfect. Issues happen. Sometimes expectation levels are too high or staffing issues cause projects to fail. There are always reasons why what we dreamed of didn’t appear.

What buyers won’t accept is you saying every seed you planted turned into a flower.

They are not stupid. They know it’s not the case.

So be honest when asked the question ‘Where did it not go right’.

Be open, share where mistakes were made, and more importantly what you learned from these failures and how they were rectified for future solutions.

Don’t lead with it but don’t deny it either.

The buyer won’t believe it if you say all was fine and it’s likely to create further doubt in their mind which could put your deal at risk.

Buyers are stupid. Don’t treat them like they are.



Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Get Inside Your Buyer’s Mind is a weekly newsletter that decodes the tricky puzzle of buyer behaviour.

Discover the key to understanding your buyer’s emotions and unravel the secrets of successful selling. Sign up today!

Most Popular Blogs


Related Posts