How long is yours?

16th May 2013

The buying process in a company can vary greatly depending on size of business, type of product, cost involved, number of people involved in the decision and so on. Prefabricated buildings have a long buying process and how prospects are responded to at each point of contact is critical to taking them confidently through to securing a deal.

I work for an industry that sells prefabricated buildings. A high priced ticket item that competes with a lot of like for like products and alternative solutions. As such, the buying process is long, years in some cases; something which affects how we market and sell the product.
I wonder how much sales and marketing people actually take into account the buying process prospects have to travel down before they commit or move on. For a long process, each time the prospect comes into contact with the seller, they could have very different information needs. Each time they come back they may also be armed with more knowledge of competitors, alternative solutions and the product itself. With all that in mind companies need to get inside the head of potential customers and ensure they meet their needs every time contact is made.

The prefabricated process

To make the commitment to hire or buy a prefabricated building the prospect needs to be totally confident in the product and the ability of the provider. Any errors in a new building could deeply affect business continuity and ongoing success. With that in mind, the risk is potentially high so work needs to go into getting the decision right, hence the long buying process.

What creates a long buying process?

There are other issues however that create a long buying process. With prefabricated buildings, other elements run alongside the simple decision and purchase of the product itself. Planning for instance can take 6 – 8 weeks to go through. If you wanted to buy a prefabricated building instead of hiring one then capex needs to be released. Often, for large investments there could be a number of people involved in the decision making process depending on the size of the business itself. For SME’s you may well be talking to the decision maker from day one; usually the MD.

However, if you are talking to a large company, there could be a lot of personalities, different needs and view-points involved in the overall decision. These could be the user, the buyer, the accountant and senior management, each with varying agendas for saying yes or no. And, despite what we all may think, each one will have different agendas that not only affect the overall success of the business but them personally. All of these things will draw the buying process out.

From large prefabricated buildings to paperclips, it needs to be right

Getting your buying process right for these larger companies is something that needs research and thought. Get it right though for any type of company or prospect and you will outshine your competition at every point of contact, reducing risk and increasing trust along the way. And, ultimately, walking away with the contract.

Please leave a comment below on your experience of the buying process, either as a buying or seller. Or, for more information on prefabricated buildings please contact Aganto directly.

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