72% of Buyers Want a “Rep-Free” Experience: Of Course They Do!

Jan 2, 2023 | Blog

72% of buyers want a ‘rep-free’ experience? Of course, they do! How is that number not 95%?

It’s from a Gartner report that states:

“A survey of 725 B2B buyers conducted in November and December 2021 revealed that 72% of customers said they prefer a “rep-free experience,” or completing their purchase without speaking to a rep at any point”

And

“With so much information available to customers digitally, sellers are no longer the channel to customers, but a channel to customers,” said Scott Collins, managing vice president in the Gartner for Sales Leaders Practice.

If you go to the airport and have to talk to an agent, it means you’re having a bad day, right?

When you order takeout, if you have to call and verbally order, that’s annoying, right?

In B2B, if you want to buy something and have to be qualified first, discovered second and upsold third…

Yes! The average salesperson is a nuisance. The average salesperson is annoying.

Here’s the rub…

This isn’t new! It’s ALWAYS been that way.

All the way back in 1912, Thomas Herbert Russell (in his book, Salesmanship) talked about how buyers wanted a rep-free experience through the proliferation of catalogs, mail order, and advertising. He proclaimed, “Buyers know more nowadays”. 1912!

On April 13th, 2015, Forrester was banging this drum through the rise of eCommerce. “Forrester forecasts 1 million US B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by 2020, accounting for 20% of the B2B sales force.”

The OPPOSITE happened, right?

Why?

Take your kids to a toy store, and watch what happens. Your kids feel like there is a hole in their lives that can be filled by what’s inside that store. Their desired outcome? A toy that will lead to ultimate happiness. It’s got to be in there, right? They’re trying to predict. Their little brains are on fire with the question, “What toy in here is going to lead to that ultimate happiness outcome?”

The problem? There are so many choices. Information abounds, too…I mean, they could theoretically make a shortlist, go home, read reviews, do research, read consumer reports, make an informed decision, come back and make the purchase.

Has a child ever done that in the history of humankind? Of course not. Why?

Because your kids seek the path of least resistance. My kids walked into a “going out of business” sale at Toys R Us years ago on an endorphin high. They both walked out with a toy, crying. It was exhausting. Neither felt like they made the optimal choice. They needed my wife to jump in, narrow down their options, explain the pros and cons of each, and help them make a decision. Otherwise, no decision would have been made.

They are human beings…and so are you!

Every buyer you’re working with has 50+ problems they could solve for in their business. 50+ problems that, when addressed, would make their own lives easier – maybe at work, maybe through the bonus they’re more likely to achieve, maybe because they’ll be seen as a hero and get a promotion. 50+!

They only have the bandwidth to focus on a few at a time. And, if one of those ‘few” becomes more pain than anticipated, their attention shifts. That’s why you get ghosted. That’s why you lose so much to the status quo.

It comes down to this quote from 1947. George S. Jones, Jr., the Vice President of Sales for a company named Servel, Inc. proclaimed,

“Today, people are educated to so many wants, the instruments of advertising are so universal, the sense of comparative buying is so keen that truth and value have made selling a profession.”

Allow me to highlight those last few words…

“The sense of comparative buying is so keen that truth and value have made selling a profession.” – 1947

The sales profession was and is designed to be a service. A service housed in truth.

The great salespeople, who lead with the TRUTH (transparency), and are there to provide a VALUABLE service to the buyer instead of being a necessary evil are continuing to grow selling as a profession.

  • Value – doing the homework for the buyer. Curating all of the research for them on potential solutions, and presenting them transparently with the pros AND the cons. The risks and the rewards…
  • Value – helping the buyer navigate the purchase. Mutual decision plans that help them understand what the journey will look like…

We don’t buy when we’re convinced…we buy when we can predict.

“True salesmanship is the science of service. Grasp that thought firmly and never let go.” – Arthur Sheldon, 1911

If the truth won’t sell it, don’t sell it.” – Arthur Dunn, 1919

You are in a service profession – and if you grasp that thought firmly and never let go, you’ll always be wanted.

TRUTH and VALUE.


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I speak and teach revenue organizations on how to leverage transparency and decision science to maximize their revenue capacity. It’s what I do…teach sellers, their leaders, and really entire revenue organizations the how we as human beings make decisions, then how to use that knowledge for good (not evil) in their messaging (informal and formal), negotiations and revenue leadership. I wrote a 3x award-winning book (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦), and have a newish book out (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳) now that just won its first award!

Reach out if you want to discuss The Transparency Sale sales methodology, or really…anything else (sales kickoffs, workshopskeynotes, the economy, etc.)! Email info@toddcaponi.com or call 847-999-0420.

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