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Businesses Especially In Recessionary Times, Are Advised To Learn The Value Of The So-called 'Tyre Kicker'

Is New Zealand a nation of tyre kickers?

It is common practice in business and sales in New Zealand to call some prospects' tyre kickers' and view them as a nuisance, but this attitude demonstrates a short-sighted interest in a quick sale rather than a long-term, caring relationship with our customers.

Businesses especially in recessionary times, are advised to learn the value of the so-called 'tyre kicker' as someone who prefers to take their time and research their buying decisions (finance included) before making a considered and informed decision.

Assia Salikhova, Managing Director ofSmarketing Labin Wellington, says it is common for New Zealand businesses and sales professionals to be challenged by those who appear hesitant for a variety of reasons, including our own business culture, tight finances, and a growing number of options that they fear they may miss out on (FOMO) if they buy the first thing that comes along.

"The current recession means decision cycles have naturally extended, which isn't necessarily indicative of a stagnant economy, but rather a more cautious evaluation process.

"As a consequence, Kiwi businesses should re-calibrate their sales and marketing activities to accommodate a longer decision-making process. Gartner research in 2022 tells us that 72% of decision makers want an experience free of sales representatives—they want to do their research without pressure, no matter how gentle that pressure may be," Salikhova says.

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She suggests the following strategies that serve well in the changing economy:

1. Be more information focussed to help people to understand first

Businesses should focus on providing comprehensive, easily accessible information about their products or services. This includes using sponsored content, public relations, blogs, videos, and white papers that allow buyers to make informed decisions at their own pace.

"Keep the language simple, avoid jargon and remember that decision-makers are only sometimes technically savvy in your expertise. Keep it simple, down to earth and educational."

2. Maintain Engagement

Keep in touch with customers and potential customers through regular updates, such as electronic newsletters, because this keeps your business top-of-mind and nurtures potential clients through their extended decision-making process.

3. Respond promptly

Speed of response to inquiries can significantly influence customer decisions. Research shows that businesses responding within five minutes can outperform competitors.

"Kiwis have always been a bit more laid-back and circumspect, and now more so in these times. But since the pandemic, I think people have also had less head space because we're still healing from having our lives upended.

"Remember that most business offerings are no longer as novel or as necessary. Most people and businesses don't need a new carpet or software system, so they can afford to take their time. I would advise businesses to equip themselves to support this decision-making process and learn to play the long game instead of dismissing customers who don't necessarily want to 'buy now'."

Salikhova says she would like to see a more respectful way of doing business that values the buyer's perspective and operates on a timeline that respects their need for deliberation.

"Rule of thumb: Don't expect others to do what you are not willing to do yourself. Be realistic and recognise how long you need to make a decision even when you want or need something. Recognising that means being genuinely customer-centric and people-oriented.

"In turn, businesses that adapt to these methods are likely to see sustained success, forging stronger, more resilient customer relationships in a competitive market," Salikhova says.

© Scoop Media

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