Below are five things most buyers wish they could say to sellers – and ways you, as a seller, can stand out from the rest of the pack:

1.“Please do your homework before you come see me.”

One of the most common complaints buyers have about sellers is that they walk into the room unprepared. Sure, they may have scanned a few articles about the company on the Internet and can repeat one of the CEOs latest quotes, but that's not sufficient.

Especially in complex and emerging industries, buyers feel that sellers don’t understand their businesses. In fact, according to research by the Hinge Research Institute, the number one factor that dissuades buyers is a seller who is uninformed about their industry.

When I was a buyer for a financial services firm, I saw this as a cardinal sin. Financial services is a complex area, and spending the first twenty minutes of the meeting explaining what it is that we do, how we make money, how we go to market and how we sell was not time well spent.

As a buyer, if I take time out my busy schedule to meet with you, I expect to spend that time talking about my goals and the issues I face. (And yes, I expect some great ideas on how to address those challenges.) I don’t expect to spend twenty minutes educating you on the ins and outs of my industry – or listening to a pitch, a whole other mistake that we’ll discuss shortly.

How can you avoid being uninformed? Typically, research isn’t enough. Pick your niche and make sure you have a rich understanding of that area. Unless you're comfortable discussing the more advanced ins and outs of an industry, you probably (quite literally) have no business being in the room.


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