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  • Writer's picturePatrick Hogan

Discover who is buying in a COVID-world

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Win. More. How to successfully move your pipeline when most of the market is frozen in fear.


COVID-19 has shocked and disrupted almost every market. But you can win again.

Selling in this market is challenging. Many customers have stopped buying, preserving cash waiting to see a proven way out. Sales teams are struggling to adapt. They are often being bled dry wasting time with customers that are searching for insights and direction - keeping your team engaged in glacial sales cycles.

Your sales process is broken. Your previously successful pipeline management strategies are no longer working. Unfortunately, the vast majority of your buyers will remain stalled until the real pioneers prove the way out.

Accept the market has changed, stop using your broken pipeline to pitch your old value prop to frozen buyers. Move on. There is a way to adapt your pipeline.

Sales teams struggling because their pipelines are founded on a key misunderstanding. They assume targeting their core market demographic – harder - is enough. Not anymore. People within the very same demographic act dramatically differently – a difference that is exasperated by disruption. Some buy, most won’t.

Most of the people that do buy in risky situations are psychographically distinct.

To sell now and lead the market recovery – you must first filter out – not target - the vast majority that used to buy. They are not buying now and won’t buy for a while - until they know a proven way out. Next, to land deals and establish a market-leading value prop, you must engage with the right psychographics.

Only about 10% of people within a market have these key characteristics:

· The mindset to leverage change as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage

· A sophisticated set of skills to successfully adapt to - and leverage - a disruption

Focus and target this critical group of people. They are the real buyers, Linchpin Buyers.


Adapt your pipeline to sell to the leaders of your disrupted market

Within every market demographic there is a broad continuum of how people relate to change. How they think about, react to, and adapt to disruptions varies dramatically. Early Adopters are at one end of the spectrum and Market laggards are at the other.

Through rigorous big-data analytics of thousands of high-stakes projects, close to 400,000 data points, and over 200,000 decisions, I discovered a buying niche obscured between the traditional segments of the Adoption Curve[1]. This small group of people within every market are the key to [leading the masses out of] a disrupted market.

Though many people believe they are these leaders, only a few are. Linchpin Buyers are unique in their approach to breakthrough projects. They are always playing to win, but it’s their skills to manage, meter, and mitigate risks that enable them to succeed at tackling new concepts that most would never consider.

These diligent pioneers’ drive to gain a competitive advantage makes them the gateway to market change. And because of their success, on average they have twice the funds vs. the rest of the market.

Because they have a history of leading when others cannot, Linchpin Buyers are the people your sales team needs to engage now.

You can use their unique traits to adapt your pipeline and target your Linchpin Buyers to:

1. Sell to the people in your market that are most likely to buy, now

2. Prove your value prop in the new market

3. Scale: be positioned as the market leader and grow revenues faster when the majority adapts

To learn what makes Linchpin Buyers unique, how to find them, and how you can use these insights to adapt your Sales management pipeline and Marketing Messaging - see the key tells that set them apart click here - or contact me at

Thanks to Wes Ward and Burton Miller to help with this article

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