Why “ticking all the boxes” often isn’t enough to make the sale

Imagine how much productivity is lost in businesses, and how many problems remain unsolved, just because buyers don’t have the balls to make a decision and sellers don’t push a solution when they actually have one.

Ever poured your heart and soul into a huge tender or proposal that went nowhere? Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. And it’s not just sellers whose time is wasted: it’s buyers’ too. A loss to “no decision” wastes everyone’s time and energy.

Indecision and waste are everywhere in complex sales. And not just in business.

Take real estate for example.

Escape to the Country is a British reality-TV show that helps hassled Londoners to buy property in the picturesque English countryside.

It’s highly aspirational, but not very practical, as very little property actually changes hands on the show. Most of the time it’s a lovely tour through some beautiful homes accompanied by tinkly music and a soothing voiceover.

While I like a good property stickybeak as much as the next person, I find Escape to the Country frustrating, as so few people actually BUY the gorgeous homes they look at.  Instead, they wander off “still searching for their dream home”, while the poor home owners trying to sell the place are left polishing the andirons in their inglenook fireplaces.

Why don’t these property buyers, seemingly so keen to escape to the country, actually buy? I reckon it’s because many come on the show with a massive laundry list of likes and dislikes. They are shown three homes, and the first two tick all their boxes. Ironically, it’s often the third house - the “mystery house” - that gets the best reception, as it challenges the buyers’ preconceptions and gives them something different (and better) than what they asked for.

Business buyers are exactly the same. They think they know what they want, but they don’t REALLY know until they see it.

So don’t just tick the boxes. Use your expertise, and offer them something that will surprise and delight them. That’s how you will emerge as the clear winner.

Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant who helps helps service-based businesses that compete through bids and tenders to articulate the value in what they do, command a price premium, and build an offer that buyers can’t refuse. Don’t let others dictate how far and how fast your business can grow – take your power back! Email robyn@robynhaydon.com to request the white paper for the Beyond Ticking Boxes program.