Where do buyers go when they say, “I’ll call you back?”
Why do buyers seem so foolish through our eyes for not making a buying decision, when it’s obvious that they have a need that our solution can resolve?
The sales model only handles half of the buying decision – the solution resolution phase. But it has never managed the buying decision phase – that place that buyers go when they go inside, figure out the internal issues they must manage to bring in a new solution, and make sure that there is buy-in for adopting a new solution. And the internal issues are not necessarily related to what we think of as the Identified Problem, or ‘need’. It might involve an historic fight between two departments that have duplicated staffing rather than clean up the fight. It might involve a set of rules that render your solution prohibitive, regardless of the need. It’s the sort of knowledge that only insiders can handle because it’s idiosyncratic to the culture. And as outsiders, we are not privy to it.
Indeed, a buyer’s need sits within a tangle of elements that have created the Identified Problem over a period of time, hold it in place daily, and fight hard to maintain the status quo because otherwise the system would be out of integrity. Think of an iceberg that has a problem with the tip: until the entire iceberg gets engaged, no change will happen. And in the process, it will fight hard to maintain all of itself rather than be diminished or changed.
Sales hasn’t known how to go inside a buyer’s environment and help manage all of those issues. It’s pure systems theory: systems fight to maintain themselves rather than change. And until or unless the system is able to manage the elements that would threaten the rest of the system, no change can happen. That’s why we don’t close 100% of our obvious sales; that’s where buyers go.
And even though we understand the area around our buyer’s Identified Problem, we have had no way of making sense of those idiosyncratic issues that are outside of our solution space and awareness. And until buyers manage these issues, they cannot make a decision.
My friend and colleague, Sharon Drew Morgen, author of the NY Times Business Bestseller “Selling with Integrity” and 6 other books on her ground-breaking Buying Facilitation Method, has developed a model that gives sellers the tools to help buyers recognize, align, and manage all of those elements within a buyer’s environment that need to be addressed before they can make a purchase. It’s the area that sellers have never been able to influence until now. Through books and guided study programs, Buying Facilitation is available to learn. Consider adding it to the skills you already sell with. Not only will it help your buyer make sound, quick buying decisions, but it will make you a true Servant Leader to your buyer, working together to match their values and align their criteria so they discover the solutions that their cultures will accept.
After my conversation with Sharon Drew just yesterday, I strongly suggest making this part of your skill set as well as your mind set that’s going to offer you a competitive selling edge that you may never have considered before. You can learn more about Sharon Drew Morgen, her programs and incredible books at newsalesparadigm.com and buyingfacilitation.com.