Build bridges by asking, “Why should they buy?”

“I want a salary increment because my personal expenses have increased.” Good luck with that. I mean, why should they buy?

“Why should they buy?” This is the question every seller should ask themselves. “Why should they agree to (buy) my proposal for sponsorship?” “Why should my students buy (learn from me), their teacher?” That’s not all.

“Why should my boss buy my pitch for a salary increment?” Why should they buy? This question is rarely asked resulting in many lost sales.  And it’s rarely asked because it is assumed that the buyer automatically sees things from the seller’s perspective, and will therefore buy. He doesn’t see, nor care, nor buy.

Sellers and buyers have diametrically opposite objectives. The seller’s objective is to make a sale; the buyer’s, to get information. The seller understands his product; the buyer doesn’t. The seller’s product has many features that excite him; the buyer, is only excited about how they benefit him. When the seller asks, ‘Why should they buy?’ he instantly shifts attention from him to the buyer. Now, he starts seeing things from the buyer’s perspective. The seller that takes the initiative to find out, ‘Why should they buy?’ builds bridges to unite the different objectives.

Before writing the proposal, for instance, he first researches what the buyer will resonate with, and focuses the proposal to addresses this. And knowing that different folks resonate with different strokes, simply because this sponsor responded positively to this proposal the seller doesn’t assume that the next sponsor will. So he researches what excites the next one and tailors the proposal appropriately. But research means putting in the work, which most sellers would rather not. It’s much easier to ‘copy and paste pitches’; easier, but unproductive.

why should they buy

Three different interviews for the same job (even in the same institution), means three different researches to show the potential employer how you are of value to them. “I read that you are struggling with stock-outs. In fact, I experienced this myself after sampling five different supermarkets for your products. All these are lost sales and therefore revenue; it also dilutes the customer’s perception of your brand. None of these is good for business and I assume it’s something you’d want to correct. Is this true?” Yes. “We had the same problem with my previous employer. As Supply Chain Manager, this is how I resolved it.” (She explains).

Not asking, ‘Why will they buy?’ is the reason why the hapless employee will unwisely, selfishly and unsuccessfully pitch thus: “I want a salary increment because my personal expenses have increased.” Suitably responding to the question, ‘Why should they buy?’, will make an insurance company focus on a friction-less claims, and not just sales, process.

To inspire her students to analyze the Kiswahili set book, the progressive teacher doesn’t lecture them to sleep because if they fail it’s on them; no; she involves them in analyzing select Bongo songs too because she discovered that teens love the Tanzanian literature-rich music, more than set books. And she discovered this because she asked, ‘Why should they buy?’


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