This HBR Blog Network piece entitled The Best Sales Reps Avoid “Talkers” has some interesting implications for sellers (note: I added a comment on 7/18 as Michael).
Basically, the authors are saying that because a buyer opens up to you and provides insights and some access doesn’t mean the buyer has the ability to mobilize the internal support to get a deal done. Per the authors research, they identified seven distinct contact profiles and only three of them are classified as “mobilizers.” The other profiles could be seen as selling “traps” and they could become time vampires (e.g., a key attribute of seemores).
As stated in my comment, I’m not sure all the profiles are purely discrete (I’m sure there is some “bleed” between profiles), but the research does add to the conversation around which buyer profiles can really get a deal done. Pursuing a sales opportunity is basically an investment of time, money and resources. Anything that can assist a seller in better identifying the risk side of the equation (risk/return) is helpful in qualifying the opportunity.
I would see these profiles as a good guide, but I would ensure that I corroborated my assessment with other information about the company, the culture, the buying situation, and the individual buyer.