Are Buyers Really Liars or Are You Just Lazy?

If I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase, buyers are liars, you and I would both be rich.    Ever been lied to in a cycle?  Here you are…late in the cycle, sponsor promised you the signed order doc, and then he goes stone-cold dark.  Quarter passes and you miss your commit.  He calls next week and proceeds to tell you the dog ate his homework.  Yeah bro…been there.

Here comes the provocative proclamation of the day:  that was YOUR fault.  Yep, hold tight and let’s unpack this.  If you’ve ever been lied to, consider the reasons:

  1. People like to deliver good news. People suck at delivering bad news.  Have you fostered a communication culture that makes it hard for them to deliver bad news?  By telling your customer up front that bad news is good news early and often, they’ll be more inclined to tell you what is really going on behind the scenes.  I always state in the beginning of a relationship, information is the most valuable currency.  Most buyers want to appeal to your personal win as much as you do theirs.
  2. Most buyers aren’t 100% clear on their own steps to buy. Rather than put in the extra work on their end to identify the details, they will make assumptions and inferences.  And…when those assumptions end up being wrong, people HATE to admit they were wrong.  Did you ask the right questions?  Did you push hard enough for the details?  Did you ask to meet with others that have a better handle on the buying process than your sponsor?  Did you speak with other peers or partners that have been through a buying cycle?
  3. It’s not as common as the other two, but sometimes you run into a buyer who’s simply a liar. I find usually these folks are less about lying for lying’s sake, but rather they seek your and others’ approval.  If you identify this persona, it’s ultra-important to:
    1. Look for ways to give them validation…both with you and with their employees.
    2. Seek to get a co-coach. Find others in the organization that are able to carry your flag and validate, validate more, and validate again.

Buyers being liars isn’t an excuse…it’s usually a symptom of a condition that you’ve created and fostered.  Identify it, change the landscape, and sell around it.  If you’re stung, learn from it and get better at recognizing the personas and the reason for their behavior.

I look forward to hearing from you about stories where you were able to move around the garden of fibs!

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