Here’s Why Some Buyers Are Easy, and Some Are Hard…
By Brett Lloyd Abbott, MYM Austin Inc.
I give credit to Roy H. Williams, a.k.a. “The Wizard of Ads” for this amazing marketing/sales insight that applies to just about anything that a human being buys. I learned it more than a dozen years ago, so I’m surprised I’ve never actually written about it until now.
There are two kinds of buyers in this world: Relational and Transactional.
Put simply, a Relational buyer cares about quality and support and trust in the overall relationship, while the Transactional buyer only cares about price. Simple enough, until you consider these rather unusual facts:
- Every human being is both.
- Every item for sale has both.
- It’s roughly a 50-50 split between the two for everything that’s sold.
- But you’ll spend 80% of your time with the Transactional buyer.
- While you only make 20% of your profit Transactional buyer.
- And you’ll have a much lower closing ratio with the Transactional buyer.
- Mathematically, then, that means the Relational buyer represents 80% of your profit and 20% of your time, and is easier to close.
Sounds like you might want to spend more time with Relational buyers, and less time with Transactional buyers, don’t you think?
I can show you how. But first, let me dispel any doubts you may have regarding the facts I stated above. Consider the person who goes into the grocery store to buy the cheapest eggs possible, but will pay five dollars for a gallon of hormone-free organic milk. At the same time, another person buys the cheapest milk possible, while paying five dollars for a dozen organic, free-range brown eggs.
You might love your Starbucks, but will buy the cheapest gas possible, while I prefer my name-brand premium gas, but am happy as heck with a $.99 coffee from McDonald’s.
This holds true with everything from a stick of gum to brain surgery to a new swimming pool.
Now let me prove to you why a Transactional buyer will take up more of your time, and spend less, and give you a significantly worse closing ratio:
- The Transactional buyer only cares about price. That means they’ll shop three, four, five of your competitors or more, to make sure they get the best deal possible. (The Relational buyer, by contrast, prefers to meet with just one seller.) So already, your best closing ratios are “1 in 5” vs. “1 in 2 or better.”
- The Transactional will ask lots of questions, and make multiple demands, looking for the best way to get to the lowest price. (The relational buyer would prefer to trust you, and keep things simple.)
- If they think they can save a dollar by going with the next guy, the Transactional will dump you in a New York minute. (The Relational buyer doesn’t want to go anywhere. She much prefers convenience. She is loyal.)
So how about we put a sign on the door saying “Relational-Buyers Only”?
Obviously, that won’t work, so here’s what I suggest:
Try to spot the Transactional buyers early on.
This shouldn’t be too difficult. If they are overly-focused on price and discounts, you’ve got your answer.
Remember that your time is better spent with a Relational buyer.
Recognize that these poor, sad, pathetic Transactionals are basically ignorant. They’ve convinced themselves that what you’re selling is a commodity; “There’s no downside to paying the cheapest price.” Of course, when it comes to buying a new swimming pool, they couldn’t be more wrong. So don’t be afraid to enlighten them with the cold hard facts of what happens when you cut corners on swimming pool construction.
After all, if you scare them off, and they go badger 3 of your competitors down to a rock bottom price, do you really care?
Use your “Drip Marketing” to convert the Transactional into a Relational buyer.
If you suddenly discovered that the cheap eggs you’ve been buying give you headaches, or the cheap milk you’ve been buying causes cancer, would you start looking at those purchases differently? Might you now become a relational buyer for milk and eggs?
It’s the same with a swimming pool. So if you can’t convert the Transactional to a Relational in your face-to-face meeting, then this is the perfect time for your automated follow-up take over and do the heavy lifting for you. Let your ongoing series of automatic emails educate them week after week, month after month. Some of your prospects may not convert, but some of them will. And that’s what you really want – to weed out the Transactionals, and spend more of your time with the coveted Relationals.
I’ve seen it happen many times. The price-shopping Transactional comes back in a few months – humbled, with a whole new attitude.
It only costs a couple of dollars a month to keep your messages dripping on your prospects – both hot and cold – until they buy, or until they die. Like Chinese water torture, the messages drip, drip, drip, until they’re convinced that you are the best choice.
In fact, did you know that this concept of automated marketing is the origin of the phrase “Monopolize Your Marketplace”? It originally referred to the process of overwhelming your prospects with persuasive messages that your competition was too stupid or too lazy to send.
That’s why we think it’s one of the top three most important things for any pool builder – A Killer Website, a Low Risk Offer, and an Automated Follow-Up System.
And yes, we have a turnkey automated follow-up system designed specifically for pool builders, with emails, postcards, and a compelling low risk offer, all built in. So if you would like to start converting more of your Transactionals into Relationals, just give us a call. We’ll hook you up in a jiffy.
To your success…