Today’s post is by Jay Mitchell, founder and president of Mereo LLC. With a heart for serving, Jay’s others-focused values are inspiring to his clients and peers alike – as reflected in Mereo’s purpose of Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™. Follow Jay’s thought leadership on LinkedIn.
The spirit of frictionless selling hits the mark: How can we make it as easy as possible for our buyers to move through their journeys?
Yet, when we think of frictionless selling, we must consider a key element that will continue to hinder sales and marketing teams from achieving this noble and effective goal, and that is the underlying objective to buy from us and choose our solutions – to “pick me, pick me!”
As long as our goals remain to sell to the buyer rather than to serve the buyer, frictionless selling will fail to amount to an easier buying process and consistent resulting sales. But, if we can truly put buyers first and make their journey as seamless and valuable as possible, then we can manage the true intent of frictionless selling.
The Buying Process Is Full of Friction
Marketing and sales teams are making it too difficult for buyers to find solutions to their pains – so much so that CSO Insights found less than a quarter (23 percent) of buyers would turn to vendor salespeople as a top three resource to solve their business problems.
According to Forrester Research, B2B buyers believe only 8 percent of sellers are focused on driving a valuable end result for the buyer. No wonder most buyers choose to engage sellers later in their journeys – because they do not perceive any value in doing so earlier; moreover, their experience is that sellers are too invested in their own motives and not what is in the best interest of the buyer.
This is an issue because buyers are often unaware of all their pains or their real underlying issues. Status quo is rarely the best answer for any buyer. Yet overcoming status quo is not a simple task for buyers to process on their own – let alone recognize.
When buyers traverse today’s selling environment, they do so without true guidance, for fear that a seller will be focused only on trying to make it as easy as possible to get the buyer’s money – rather than to provide the buyer real solutions.
Yet operating without the insights of a trusted seller has not fared well for buyers, either. Upwards of 60 percent of B2B buying journeys end in no action (Aberdeen), and more than 40 percent of B2B purchases are followed by second-guessing (Harvard Business Review).
Serve Buyers by Reducing Friction and Adding Value
Frictionless selling is part of the equation. There must be an equal balance between the ease of the buyer’s journey and the value gained from it.
This can happen only when we realign our motivation to “Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™.”
For a buyer:
- Selling means product-pushing. Seeking to serve means securing a solution to a problem.
- Selling translates to an exchange of products and services for money. Seeking to serve translates to relevant and meaningful (aka valuable) interactions.
- Selling lands deals. Seeking to serve builds long-term relationships and indefinite moments for both parties to create more value.
The truth is, we should not be focused on removing the friction from the selling but, in true Seek to Serve fashion, to remove the friction for the buyer.
If we as sellers have buyers’ best interests in mind and combine that with relevant and insightful knowledge about their industry and pains, we can make it as easy as possible for a buyer to realize the best solution to their pain.
This is no simple feat. It takes grit, hard work, and acumen to move beyond being just a seller to becoming a trusted advisor to buyers. But, when we manage to do so, we gain the opportunity to provide meaningful and relevant interactions that develop long-term relationships – and amount to value for buyers and sellers alike.
For more Seek to Serve, Not to Sell insights, connect with Mereo on LinkedIn.