Building relationships, trust key in current
�The emotional component of decision making has increased dramatically in the post�2000 business environment,� said Dan Kreutzer, '85, told the Sales Leaders' Roundtable on March 9 at Gleacher Center. Kreutzer, partner at Samurai Business Group, asserted that the major driver of today's decision process is building relationships. Since the traumatic economic events that took place in 2000�2001, there is a higher perceived risk to major buying decisions, and the only way to overcome it is through trust, he said. �People have to believe that you are going to deliver, to produce results. We need to get that �human touch' back into the game.�
Citing research conducted at several leading universities, he said that the process people follow in making decisions is the same everywhere, cutting across culture and ethnicity. But when expanded into a buying decision model, specifically applicable to complex buying decisions, he noted that this process becomes iterative and bounces around, unlike the traditional sales process, which is completely linear. �This disconnect leads to misconceptions, unfulfilled expectations, mutual mystifications, growing hostility, and a general lack of trust between buyer and seller,� said Kreutzer.
People buy for their own reasons usually based on self-interest, he said. �It's important that sales people understand what the buyer's decision process is, and then help them with it.� Kreutzer summed it up, �Adapt your sales process to align with the buying decision model�concentrate on where they are and stay with them.� Doing so will build that much-needed trust.