Customers have a very specific approach to making a decision. They have decision criteria they rely on. They prioritize different things. There are must haves and specific needs. Customers understand what they need to feel comfortable about making a decision. Consumers or business, it’s all the same. People need to feel comfortable before they choose. To some buyers the decision criteria requires a black car, two test drives, the spouses approval and a good interest rate. To others the decision criteria is a trial in the labs, an RFP, low TCO, no more than a one year tearm, 3 references and 24 x 7 support.
There is a method to our decisions. We don’t buy unless the method is met. We have to feel good about our decisions and our decision criteria is designed to help us feel good about our choices. We can be flexible. We’ve been known to change, but before we buy our decision ritual HAS to be satisfied. Our decision criteria have to be met.
When a customer or prospect tells you they are looking to buy a new software application, looking for a new computer vendor, or widget supplier, the first question that needs to be asked is; “How are you going to do that Mr. Customer?”
You can’t get to the sale without knowing how the decision is going to be made. You have to know the decision criteria. The sales strategy has to map to the customers decision method. Knowing ahead of time how the customer is going to make a decision and what is most important in that decision is critical. Decision criteria are the highway of sales. If you don’t know them you will be on the wrong road . . . the road to nowhere.
- How Clients Decide (xemion.com)