8. The Buyer


The consumer and customer is not always the same person…

Sometimes, the person with the authority or budget to buy your product is not the person with the problem. If so, then your sales effort will be more complex: first convince one person that your solution is worth having; then convince someone else that it is worth buying.

Who is the person responsible for buying your product?

Even if you think the buyer is the person who will use your product or service, the buying process may be more complicated than you expect. Whose opinion will the buyer seek before purchasing? Their team? A business partner? A spouse?

Bird Watch—[The buyer]: Animal psychologists and wildlife conservationists typically make their own decisions on the products and technologies they use.

Concrete Battery—[The buyer]: Both alternative energy manufacturers and electricity-generating companies are large, complex organizations. The customer for Concrete Battery is most likely a Product Manager within those orgs, but any sale will likely go through a business development and/or procurement office and, depending on the scale of the sale, may also involve one or more executives.

Close to Home—[The buyer]: Survivors of natural disasters will be able to make their own purchasing decisions on the Close to Home website. The buyers will include individuals, couples, and families. Since the products are homes, the decision-making process will be complicated, just like in a typical real estate transaction.

Ensibuuko—[The buyer]: The people with the problem (the consumers) are not direct customers of Ensibuuko, but instead are customers of the savings and credit cooperatives (SACCOs). The SACCOs buy the Ensibuuko service, benefiting directly as the operations run more smoothly. The rural farmers benefit indirectly as customers of those SACCOs, gaining access to their savings accounts over their mobile phones.

Is your sales process going to be as straightforward as Bird Watch, complex like Concrete Battery, or a mix of the two, like Close to Home?

Or perhaps most people who will benefit from your service are not your direct customers, like in Ensibuuko. If so, you might have to convince an organization to buy your product in order to help their customers.


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