Conflicting buyer and seller needs can be subtle. Buyers are a tricky lot; they may echo a problem collectively but have idiosyncratic pain points.
When it’s one thing they need and are struggling with, it doesn’t matter that it’s 3% of your product, it only matters that it’s 97% of their problem.
Buyers don’t care about your wow product. At least not as you do.
You may be wowed by your state-of-the art platform that can track every vehicle in the buyer’s fleet, day or night, anywhere in the world. Complete with an app on your phone that shows the movement, and a feature that alerts in real time when fuel is being siphoned. That, plus a whole lot of other gizmos, has you all giddy with excitement and you can hardly wait to unleash your product to the world.
The buyer on the other hand will be floored with delight if it can tell him when the driver has stepped out of the vehicle. Meanwhile, for you and your office, this is a non-issue (a mere 3 per cent of your product); you don’t even pitch it. And therefore, you lose a sale to this buyer, because you got caught up in the 97% of your product.
Buyers’ trickiness add to conflicting buyer and seller needs
Buyers are a tricky lot; they may echo a problem collectively but have idiosyncratic pain points. Which only adds to conflicting buyer and seller needs.
Therefore, a blanket pitch which includes addressing the collective problem (fuel siphoning, for instance) will more likely backfire, than not. As such, it makes sense to first find out ahead of the pitch, what pain points the potential buyer is facing,- “I want to edit my blog”, for instance. Also, what problems it is causing- “Depending on someone else to do it is inconveniencing me”. Finally, and, what it will mean for him, or his business, if the problem were to go away – “I will have control”. And then pitch to these issues focusing on the control.
Conflicting buyer and seller needs in action
“You know Kageche”, a client, once confided in me, “now that I think about it, we sold the bank software to ourselves. We invited three sellers to pitch. All of them enthusiastically pitched their respective product’s bells and whistles. All, except one.
He started by asking us what we were looking for in the software and why. Further, he even went ahead to make suggestions that provoked our thinking to address our problems. He then spent easily 90 per cent of the time showing us how their software addressed our problems. There was one particular problem it didn’t solve but he promised to have it resolved by the time of installation. They were last to present but the room was alive with engagement.” (This was shared to me by a Head of IT)
Your non-issue is buyer’s major issue
It doesn’t matter whether all the buyer’s problems amount to a ‘non-issue’ (3 per cent of your wow product); that’s your opinion, which please keep to yourself. Buyers are a selfish lot. To the buyer, your non-issue is the issue. In fact, so profound is this that experienced sellers will tell you that buyers get visibly offended at any attempt (even accidental) to seemingly dismiss their 3 per cent in your quest to extol your 97.
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