Selling to Committees

Selling to Committees

All buyers want to have options, and they want a simple way to compare those options. An example is the Mutual Fund industry.

Most brokerages have tools that allow buyers to compare funds side-by-side, helping them to make an informed decision. Yet Matthew Morey of New York’s Pace University, found that it was not necessarily the performance metrics that motivated the purchase of a mutual fund. Rather, high ratings from agencies like Morningstar Inc. and Value Line tip the scale.

Interestingly, highly rated funds attract more buyers, but as a group, they don’t tend to perform much better than those with mediocre marks.

“Ratings are very seductive because we want to see things quantified simply,” says Morey.

How can salespeople use this information?

Understanding this is particularly important with committee decisions because consensus is difficult for groups to achieve. Groups are unlikely to agree based on subjective criteria because they each view subjective criteria in their own way.

Presenting a group with objective, quantifiable criteria makes it easier for groups to come to conclusions, and therefore, carry a lot more weight in the final decision.

Sell the criteria and you’ll sell the solution

When you know your buyer has a committee making the purchasing decisions, seek out objective criteria to tip the scales in your favor.

  1. Start by pinpointing the buyer’s problems or ambitions in areas where you have an advantage.
  2. Help the buyer quantify the problem, its impact and its cost. Likewise, the ambition and the financial upside.
  3. Then seek out objective criteria that will help explain things to your buyer in a way that is simple. You might translate the buyer’s need for ‘ease of use’ into the average time required for users to be able to use a new product.
  4. Offer an assessment or diagnostic that helps quantify the costs and benefits.

If your competition doesn’t do as good a job, or doesn’t do it as early as you do, then you have tilted the final decision in your favor.

Make it easy for them to agree on your solution.

If you need guidance on how to uncover the information you need, download the Capability Translator or Perfect Discovery Call Checklist.