How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Sales is a Flawed Model
Guest articles > Sales is a Flawed Model
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
You don’t know the answers to these questions. Because the sales model is geared for solution placement. Of course you give good service, ask all the right questions, understand the need and how it fits with your solution.
But the sales model is not set up to manage the personal, human, political,
strategic, and hidden systemic issues that buyers must handle internally to get
the buy-in and develop the pathway to bring in a new solution.
See, the buyer’s environment is kinda a system, with people, and policies,
initiatives and relationships, all working together, fighting to maintain
themselves (as systems are wont to do). And when they consider fixing something,
they have to manage everything that touches it or face chaos. Just as you can’t
just purchase a new house on the way home and announce to your family that
you’re moving tomorrow, so a buyer cannot just choose a solution to add to the
well-functioning mix of givens within the status quo. It’s not about the house.
To continue with the analogy, the sales model merely understands the family
needs for a house and finds the house. It does not handle the fight between the
parents and teenagers who don’t want to move from their friends, or the decision
to move closer to in-laws, or the discussion around a possible divorce. To sell
the house, these details are unnecessary. To buy the house, it’s imperative to
resolve first before they know what or if to buy. And everyone must buy-in
somehow before a choice is made.
I’ve developed a new skill set that works alongside of sales. It’s not sales,
but it’s a change management model that can be used in any change situation
(management, negotiation, coaching) to help others reorganize and reconsider
their status quo so something new can enter. The material is original, and based
on a servant-leader goal, to truly help others make their best decisions.
Here’s an example. The head of Consumer Banking of Barclays Bank called to
ask if Buying Facilitation® could be used with a program they were developing.
Here’s the dialogue. Note that I am not doing a sales job here (that will come
later – buyers need solution data only when their other decisions and internal
change issues have been handled) but helping him figure out how to bring change
and get buy-in… all of which would include my help at some point, but not
specifically about my solution.
BANK: Can Buying Facilitation® be added to the software we are
developing so customers will be able to choose the best product?
At that point, he named 2 department heads that needed to be involved –
technology and training. I suggested he might add the heads of HR (to train 4000
people), internal consulting/project management, sales, and retail banking. He
set up a conference call. On the call, the CEO of Barclays joined the call. We
all worked together a month (I’m on the Buying Decision Team at this point) to
figure it out. And I ended up with my piece of the pie – with no proposal, no
visit to UK, no price discussion, no competition. My solution was irrelevant
until they understood how they needed to bring in something new and fit it in,
and until all of the right people were on board to fully define the need.
Sales is great. But if you add the change management piece to the front end –
before you sell, or understand needs, or make a presentation – you can easily
know: who will close, approximately when, and how to help them discover,
prepare, and facilitate buy-in for the buyer…and get onto the Buying Decision
Team on the first call. And halve the sales cycle.
Until or unless buyers have all of the change management issues covered, they will not buy, regardless of the match between your solution and their need: they are doing ‘well-enough’, and if they could have resolved the issue, they would have already. Add Buying Facilitation® to your tool kit, and increase your productivity.
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
Published here on: 03-Aug-14