Where you engage in a buying process will determine the scope you have to succeed.
The optimal point for prospect engagement differs for each of our clients, they will have a different place in the buying process where they target direct engagement.
Perhaps your value proposition is based on speed, price, efficiency and ease of doing business with. If this is the case you will often work in high volume mass markets where you differentiate yourself as a commodity and you are comfortable competing in the Why You? arena. For you engaging in stage 3 of the buying process is not such a problem and you can improve your chances of success by shaping the What do? requirements in your favour.
Your offer is likely to be based on the specific client situation and often you engage with a client when they are determining how they might address a particular issue or opportunity, the What do? Engagement at this stage will be crucial to your success as you are able to influence the client requirements. If you miss this stage you will be forced to compete as a commodity and run the risk of going head to head with others who are quicker, faster, cheaper than you. Of course your solution may be better but at stage 3 it will be too late to get this message across.
Value proposition providers.
If your value proposition is based on customer insight and bespoke solutions it is almost essential that you engage with a client in Why Buy? conversations. The detailed understanding and consultative nature of your offer requires that you engage early for best chance of success. It will often be too late to engage in Stage 2 and typically you will be uncompetitive if you engage in stage 3 for the process as your opportunity to identify, quantify and prove value have passed. If you are at stage 3 on first meeting you will be driven down the commodity procurement route, can you compete here?
Which are you and are you engaging the client at the right stage for your offer?