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How do you buy? Steps in a buying decision
Guest articles > How do you buy? Steps in a buying decision
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
People are getting confused about the terms buying decision journey, buying path, buy-cycle, helping buyers buy, and buying decisions. Using a case study, let’s look at how a real buying decision happens.
When I began using the terms in the 80s my meaning described a change management process to lead buyers through their non-solution/non-need-related, behind-the-scenes internal and political issues that enable all who touch the solution to buy-in. Lately I’ve noticed the terms applied to the sales end of the buying decision – that 10% of the buyer’s journey that manages the pre-solution choice behaviors, including solution/vendor choice, time/money issues. In other words, sales.
But let’s stop a moment: We don’t buy this way.
HOW DO WE BUY?
Here’s is a case study to offer an example of how we actually buy.
Pretend you are the VP of Client Services of a $15 Million company, considering upgrading your website; you don’t like the job your internal tech folks have done. What needs to happen for you to get a site you need? Get your own guys to work better/smarter? Bring in a new vendor to fix the one you have? Let’s look at the actions you must take prior to moving forward.
This is a very very simplistic decision path during a year’s worth of meetings: there are only ‘people’ variables, and not any policies, internal politics, initiatives, etc.
SALES FOCUSES ON NEEDS AND SOLUTION PLACEMENT
In this situation, the sales model would have the potential vendors gather, and assume that the ‘need’ was for web design, rather than collaboration skills AND web design. And, the assumption would be that the entire Buying Decision Team – not fully formed until near the end – is already on board.
In this instance, you’d become involved in steps 6,7. You’d give a great presentation, recognize a need, get along well with your contact, and assume you were ‘in.’ When you didn’t hear back for a while, you’d start calling. And when you got your second presentation appointment, you’d assume you were in. And the rest is history.
If you were using Buying Facilitation? all of this would have been avoided for both you and your prospect. As the vendor, you would have helped the buyer recognize the problem lie with the CFO on the first call, helped design the make up of the full Buying Decision Team, and not gone in to do a presentation until there was agreement to have a vendor do some/all of the work. You’d go in only when the VPs of Sales, Marketing, Tech, and the CFO were present in the room. And it all would have taken a month or two.
If you want to learn how to do this, start by reading Dirty Little Secrets. Then get the Guided Study program and begin learning Buying Facilitation?. Or call me and we’ll discuss training.
Check out Sharon Drew Morgen's new book: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.
Or consider purchasing the bundle: Dirty Little Secrets plus my last book Buying Facilitation?: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. These books were written to be read together, as they offer the full complement of concepts to help you learn and understand Buying Facilitation? - the new skill set that gives you the ability to lead buyers through their buying decisions.
Contributor: Sharon Drew Morgen
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