Buyer Safety

Putting Your Customer at the Heart of Everything

We believe every seller should deliver Buyer Safety. We exist because of the customer, not in spite of the customer. Everything we do should put the customer at the heart.

We are there to serve our customers. We must surrender our desired outcome and focus on helping them achieve their desired outcome. Customers pay for outcomes. They don’t buy products or services.

We are there to serve our customers. We must surrender our desired outcome and focus on helping them achieve their desired outcome. Customers pay for outcomes. They don’t buy products or services.

Help enough other people get their needs met, and in turn you will get your needs met

Zig Ziglar

In fact, customers rent outcomes. And they only rent them for as long as what we provide is relevant. Plenty of happy customers leave providers when they are no longer relevant. Plenty of customers stay with providers when the experience isn’t great. They stay with you so long as you keep delivering the outcomes they need, even if there are cheaper providers out there, so long as you listen to what they are telling you and they feel you put their best interests above your own selfish-self interest.

Alignment and the Customer Journey

Laughs Last helps you create alignment throughout your customers’ buying journey. When they first start making space for solutions like those you offer, they aren’t ready to buy, but they may respond to the right kind of content if it speaks to where they are in their business. Now is not the time to cold call or put pressure on the customer. You will waste a lot of time, money and resource, and most probably alienate prospective buyers by being an unwelcome interruption, clogging up their inbox and voicemail.

Moving Customers From The Zone of Consideration to The Zone of Temptation

If buyers have a problem which isn’t important enough to give serious consideration, they will begin looking passively. At this point, they will consume interesting content but they aren’t ready to engage directly.

If you’ve nurtured them in the early stages of their buying journey and fed them relevant and valuable insights and useful content, when they start looking actively they will seek out your information and ask for your help. This puts you in pole position when they are defining their requirements and allows you to influence their specifications. When you have earned their trust, you can gently influence buyers’ thinking.

Unfortunately, most vendors have the customer positioned at the end of a long chain – founder, executive team, company, product, services, marketing, sales, customer onboarding, account management, customer complaints, operations, legal, finance – almost as an afterthought. And because they don’t understand the buyers’ journey, they are seen as a pest, pushy and “salesy”. No one likes to be sold; everyone loves to buy.

From Temptation to Purchase Decision

When a problem needs fixing or a product needs to be replaced, newly purchased or an investment needs to be made, we tend to make trade offs. We compare our options, especially in the internet age, and we decide what  we don’t want’. We buy what’s left. It’s a case of last man standing based on these trade offs. Price is almost never the deciding factor, especially when it comes to making important decisions.

3 Things all Executives have to Balance

  • limited time
  • scarce resources
  • mitigating risks

Sadly, most marketing and salespeople focus on the money component most aggressively. Few really understand the different moving parts in a business and most lack any real business acumen and have poorly evolved emotional intelligence. All human beings want to be heard, want others to feel what they feel and want to be understood. The most important of these is to feel what they feel, then to listen, really listen. Without both of those elements, they will never feel truly understood.

And when it comes to managing risk, ask most executives, and they’ll tell you risk sends shivers down their spine and their stomach roils. They don’t really care about risk. What they want is certainty. If you can give them a feeling of certainty, you won’t be pressured on price. Leave them with any feeling of risk and they will come at you with price in the latter stages of a negotiation to cover their backs in case something goes wrong.

The Proven Formula for Customer Success            

Your customers’ success depends on them achieving their outcomes. It is more important than their experience. But the factor that most affects whether they achieve their outcomes and the success they are investing in when they rent your products and services, is the experience and the levels of engagement your employees have. That is within your control.

My question is, do you create the conditions where your people love coming to work, feel their work is important and meaningful, and they feel disposed to give massive discretionary effort. Are they all aligned towards one unifying purpose?

Serving Your Customers At Every Moment Of Their Buying Journey!

When your marketing and salespeople are communicating with prospective buyers and customers, building your sales funnel, are they standing out for the value they deliver, or are they just more noisy voices clamouring for attention? Are they welcomed for the insights they bring, or rejected as a worthless interruption?

The End to Drive By Shootings

Great salespeople sell through the transaction. Bad salespeople only turn up when there’s something else to sell or when it’s time to get a renewal. To the customer these feel a bit like a drive by shooting. No one likes to feel like you are dipping your hand in their pocket.

Customers leave suppliers primarily because they don’t feel valued or appreciated. They leave you because you are no longer relevant and you have stopped delivering the outcomes they need or want.

The Solution is Simple

People buy from people. Companies don’t buy; People do. In the past 50 years, sales has gone from being a service business (and please remember service doesn’t mean servitude or being servile) to being transactional and largely self-serving.

When we work with our clients, we work on prospecting for customers who will be a customer in 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. We aim to become their trusted partners. We get down and dirty in the trenches, roll up our sleeves, and do difficult work together. We help them come out of the goalmouth so it’s us and them kicking into an open goal against their problems.

Earning & Keeping Customers’ Trust

We can only achieve this level of trust by being people of our word, and our actions demonstrate our word is enough. Consistently being vulnerable enough to admit we don’t know, or don’t have the answer, or that a competitor might be a better fit for their needs, to admit when we are wrong, to get ahead of problems and make our mistakes right. We need to be ready to enter into constructive conflict when our customer is going to make a bad decision, or is ignoring a problem, and to draw a line in the sand when they may be taking advantage or overstepping a boundary.

Clarity & Equal Business Stature

Ambiguity is the mother all mismatched expectations, and the father of disappointment. Both lead to destructive conflict and loss of trust. When we communicate we always make sure both sides enjoy absolute clarity. We always know why we are turning up, why we are leaving and what happens next. We clearly agree and assign responsibilities. And we earn mutual trust and equal business stature by our actions, by meeting or exceeding their expectations and by living our values. Only with equal stature can we hope to be their partner instead of merely a 3rd party commodity provider.

Customers for Life

We seek customers for life, not transactional customers we can use to meet our sales quota this month or quarter. We only sell to our customers when it is right for them and it is right for us to do so. Anything less is sales malpractice.

Selling with Partnering Skills

As partners, we help each other get better. We hold each other to account. We communicate regularly. Our conversations are often challenging, difficult and uncomfortable. That’s how we each grow and get better. We never shy away from difficult conversations. And it is often in the heat of constructive conflict that our best ideas are developed. We won’t and should not always agree. We are not afraid to speak to unhappy customers because it is those conversations that often fuel innovation and accelerate new product development, that keep us relevant and fresh.

Check out Fred Copestake’s book “Selling With Partnering Skills” for more on this subject

Check out Fred Copestake’s book “Selling Through Partnering Skills” for more on this subject

You Grow Lifetime Customers

We don’t have account management teams. We have account growth teams. We don’t want an army of zoo keepers and order takers. Our salespeople are decision making agents. They are part of our customers’ team and are welcomed throughout their organisation for the value they bring every time they write, speak or show up in person. They bring the best people to help from marketing, customer success, technical and subject matter experts and executives.