What Time Zone is Your Buyer In?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Do you have a prospect on your target account list that seems like a perfect fit for your product but you’re not getting anywhere with them?
Do you wonder why you aren’t making progress?
Perhaps, you’re not in the same time zone.
In his book “The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage,” Daniel Burrus writes that we all sit on a spectrum with regard to our comfort level with change.
We all possess either a past, a present or a future-oriented mindset.
People with a past-oriented mindset are not comfortable with change. They resist change and would prefer things stay as they were. People with a present-oriented mindset acknowledge that the future is approaching at full speed. However they tend to view change as an unwelcome disruption rather than a creator of opportunity. People with a future mindset want to jump into the future with both feet as they can’t wait to seize upon the opportunities that change offers.
Think about how these time mindsets apply to you, your buyers and how you sell.
Taken together buying and selling are two halves of an act of change. An act that by its very nature disrupts the status quo and your buyers’ time mindset.
When you proactively reach out to potential prospects, and they say that they’re not interested, what are they actually saying to you?
Are they really not interested? Or is the buyer just in a different time zone than you?
Perhaps they have a past-oriented mindset. They know that they can’t stay where they are.
But they’re so locked into their comfort zone that they’re turning a blind eye to the risks of standing still and putting off change as long as they can.
Then here you come with your future-mindset assuming that any rational person, any logical buyer, should be excited about the cool things your product can do and the future opportunities that your solution would enable for them.
Instead of welcoming you, they’re looking at you like you’re a stranger from another planet. So, what do you do?
First, you have to operate in their time zone.
Confirm their time mindset. Ask discovery questions about whether they’ve made attempts in the past to change and what prevented those from materializing.
Meet them in the time-zone where they feel comfortable. For instance, instead of insisting on a Zoom call, go meet them in-person.
Co-create instead of pitching. Use questions to draw the buyer into articulating their vision of success (based on the outcomes they’d achieve with your product.)
Then you’re collaborating on value creation. As a result the buyer starts seeing a path into the future that might be doable for them.
And, you find yourselves in the same time zone. That’s a pre-requisite to making a purchase decision.
The key is that you have to connect with your buyers on a human level in their time zone. You engage their interest within their time mindset.
Once you’ve established trust with the buyer in their time zone, you’ve begun to establish a path the will enable you to walk them into the future.
– Andy Paul