There are some things you just can’t teach buyers.

Nor should you try.

As sellers, we can educate buyers on:

  • The value we provide.
  • What that value is in dollars and cents.
  • How to get maximum value from our offerings.
  • What advantages they’ll enjoy by upgrading.

What we can’t teach them is what they should buy.

I just learned that two huge retailers tried to do exactly that.  Indeed, one spent more than two years trying to get buyers to accept the options they offered instead of the ones they preferred.  The result?  Both retailers saw a dramatic drop in sales.

How does this happen?  In both instances the retailers had tough decisions to make regarding limited shelf space.  They opted to offer variety packs as a way of maintaining the variety their customers once enjoyed while enhancing their own profit margins.  Buyers didn’t like the variety packs (too much waste) and voted with their pocketbooks.

It’s apparently more counter-intuitive than I would have thought, but placing your needs ahead of your customers’ wishes always costs you their business.  Here’s another example.  My wife and I rotate our grocery shopping between three stores.  We we originally shopped at just one.  Why?  Because that store we preferred stopped carrying the brands we enjoy.  Sound familiar?

Pay attention to what your customers are buying.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling products or services, what they buy most frequently is what is truly important to them.  Try to teach them that they should value other options more highly and you’ll simply lose their business.

Author – Dale Furtwengler