More Than Selling
Allow me to interrupt your old-school sales thinking for a moment with this revolutionary thought: “You’re a buyer; not just a seller!”
The concept of being a buyer is difficult for salespeople, sales managers, and owners to grasp because they’ve only been programmed to understand the traditional selling model. Whenever they see the letters “A.B.C.” spelled out, their mind immediately responds with a subconscious, “Always Be Closing!”
When you’ve got selling in your blood, it’s hard to imagine yourself as anything other than a salesperson. Selling is a skill. Like any skill, it can be improved with good training and continual practice. I don’t want you to quit being a salesperson, but I do want to give you good training on how you can expand your thinking and make more money.
If you’ll allow me to peel back the crusty, old layers of traditional sales thinking, I’ll reveal fresh, untapped layers of profitability — riches reserved for salespeople with a highly-developed buyers mentality.
The expanded skill set of being a professional buyer requires strong, disciplined investment, on-going personal development, and superior economic knowledge.
Be A Buyer
According to BusinessDirectory.com, a “Buyer” is a “Professional purchaser specializing in a specific group of materials, goods, or services, and experienced in market analysis, purchase negotiations, bulk buying, and delivery coordination.” The median pay for a “Buyer” is $29.11 per hour or $60,550 per year. (Source: United States Department of Labor)
The most important aspect I want you to understand about the job of a Buyer, is that a Buyer buys what the Seller eventually, hopefully sells.
Buying is a step before Selling. If the Buyer doesn’t buy, the Seller can’t sell. A Buyer is a professional purchaser with a finely-tuned understanding of all the places where their investments are most likely to make money. The more wisely they buy, in quantities wisely purchased, the more valuable of a Buyer they are to the Seller they serve.
When a Buyer makes enough bad investments, in great enough quantities, the Seller can be forced out of business. Bad buying decisions severely limit good selling opportunities. Buyers and Sellers need each other like fish need the water or flowers need sunshine.
You Buy Your Life
You may already be thinking, “I don’t buy things, I sell things!”
That’s simply not true.
Whether or not you’ve actually invested a dime in being a salesperson, a sales manager, or an owner (and I bet you’ve invested a lot of money), you’ve most certainly invested your time, energy, and talent to become what you are today. You’re a purchaser, a buyer, of your life. You are what you are today because you bought it. You buy your life.
We’ve all heard that “time is money,” but most salespeople don’t really understand that time is just like cold, hard cash. In fact, it’s better than cash because you can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. You purchase your life with your time. If you don’t like what you’re getting from your time, there’s nobody else to blame. We all have the same 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Your energy is also a currency. Energy isn’t free; it’s valuable. Neither is it limitless. When you spend your energy, it’s gone until you get a chance to sleep and eat something. The nations of the world all go to great lengths to capture energy from solar, wind, oil, gas, and water because energy buys everything that makes modern life possible. You purchase your life with your energy. If you don’t like what you’re getting with your energy, there’s nobody else to blame.
Finally, your talent is your purchase price. You’re buying your life with every passing second; your talent level determines how much you’re going to pay. Remember, a buyer makes purchases based on many variables including their talent for market analysis and negotiation. You purchase your life with your talent. If you don’t like what your talent level is buying, there’s nobody else to blame. If you want more buying power, increase your talent level.
Be A Better Buyer
[Tweet “Sellers are only as good as their buyers.”]
By now, it should be obvious that sellers are only as good as their buyers.
Whenever you invest your time, energy, or talent, you’re a buyer; and you’re always investing your time, energy, and talent. Everything you do is an investment, a professional purchase. Being a better buyer can only help you be a better seller because sellers only sell what buyers buy; and you are your own buyer.
Buying Door Knocking
Since knocking on doors requires your time, energy, and talent, door knocking is really a buying situation.
If you’re out knocking doors every day, you’ve convinced yourself that spending your valuable time, energy, and talent at the front door of strangers is a good investment.
Good buyers are good because they create good selling opportunities. Bad buyers are bad because they create bad selling opportunities. Buying comes before selling. If you get the buying right, the selling isn’t as hard.
If you’re not door knocking, it’s because you’re investing your time, energy, and talent in something else. Usually, it’s because you think you’ll get a greater return elsewhere.
Maybe you don’t believe that your investment will pay off because you’ve struggled to find good prospects in the past. Maybe it’s because going to the movies, hanging out with family or friends, or doing anything but prospecting is a better return on your investment.
Hey, it’s your money! You get what you pay for. Invest your time, energy, and talent wherever you want.
Since customers demand your time, energy, and talent, picking and choosing your customers is really a buying situation.
Good buyers are good because they buy good returns on their time, energy, and talent. A bad buyer buys bad customers who will force you into wasting your resources.
You would never dream of letting someone buy your home or car for 1/2 of what it’s worth, but every time you buy a bad customer, you give away 50%, 75%, 100%, or more, of the fair market value of your time, energy, and talent.
By the way, the same is true of buying bad neighborhoods or bad prospects. Good buyers are good because they create good selling opportunities.
Since every roof sold first requires your time, energy, and talent, the roofs you choose to pursue buying determine how much you make selling them.
Buy the wrong roofs, make less money. Buy the right roofs, make more money. A good buyer invests in good selling opportunities; a bad buyer does the exact opposite.
Buying Sales Training
A sales manager or owner that invests their time, energy, and talent in a salesperson is really making a buying decision.
If you aren’t investing in your sales people, it’s because you do not believe they’re a good investment. If you send your new salespeople out the front door with not much more than a stack of business cards and a few contracts, you’re really not a strong buyer, are you?
Maybe that’s okay. Maybe that’s a good decision. Maybe they aren’t worth training, or maybe you’re forced into a position where you have no choice but to only buy opportunities with a greater chance of return because your time, energy, and talent are also limited just like the rest of us.
If you’re a salesperson wishing for better sales training, you’re a buyer every time you show up at the office hoping to learn something new. You know good sales training is valuable, but somebody has to buy your potential before they’ll make the investment. Good buyers are good because they make good buying decisions that lead to good selling opportunities.
Buying Roofing Leads
The cost of buying roofing leads isn’t how much you pay, it’s how much you make.
As an owner, a good buyer is somebody who gets a good return on their time, energy, and talent. Since it takes money to make money, and the final verdict on buying roofing leads is how much you make; not how much you pay.
Good buyers are good because they create good selling opportunities. When you force your good salespeople into chasing bad prospects, you’re a bad buyer because you’re wasting their time, energy, and talent.
Obviously, people aren’t for sale, but the reality is none of us work for free.
As an owner, you don’t own the salespeople working for you, but you do buy their time, energy, and talent. Some people say they love their job so much they would work for free. However, if their paycheck was ever cut off, very few of those same people would stick around for long.
When you’re a good buyer of salespeople, your investments give you a good return. Good buyers are good because they create good selling opportunities.
Buying Owners or Sales Managers
As a salesperson, you’ve got to realize you’re buying what the owner or sales manager can do for you.
Buy the wrong owner, or sales manager, and you’ll get a bad return on your investment.
You’re buying them just as much, and sometimes more, than they’re buying you. Are you getting your money’s worth?
Good buyers are good because they help you create good selling opportunities.
Do Both. Make More.
You’re already a buyer, now you’ve got to learn how to be a better buyer because you know that good buying leads to good selling.
Anytime you combine one successful business with another, like buying & selling, you’re going to make more money.
You’ve heard of roofing companies also owning roofing supply companies, haven’t you? They make more money.
Have you heard about those insurance companies that also own successful companies serving the construction industry? Obviously, they make more money.
You can do that, too. Combine your talents. Become a great buyer, and a great seller, too.
Your time, energy, and talent are the currency of every purchase you make.
Good buying leads to good selling.
P.S. The reason why so many salespeople fail at roofing sales isn’t because they’re bad at selling. They’re actually very good once they get the right opportunity. They’re just bad at buying. They buy too many of the wrong prospects, which lead to the wrong customers, or they buy the wrong roofs in the wrong neighborhoods. Sometimes they buy the wrong sales training from the wrong owners or the wrong sales managers. They’re good at sales, but bad at buying.