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The Basis of Sales Has Remained Stagnant
Guest articles > The Basis of Sales Has Remained Stagnant
by: Sharon Drew Morgen
Did I get your attention? Good. Because I’m serious.
Most of you would laugh, tell me I’m wrong, that the sales model has been shifting and that the internet has ‘changed everthing.’ But what, exactly, has it changed?
I believe that basically, sales has not changed since the beginning. Sure, the bells and whistles have changed: it’s far, far easier to get leads and interest; it’s much simpler to get your message out; it’s much quicker to find out whatever you need to find out about prospects. It seems to appear as if buyer’s buying decisions are different (they aren’t, we just know more). But all of this leads to… leads to what?
At the end of the day, the buyer still has to buy. At the end of the day, until the buyer says ‘Yes’ and gives you a check, you haven’t made a sale. And all of your permission marketing, spin, digital body language, lead generation, and understanding of who and why and when and if a buyer buys, does little more than find the prospect, follow the external activities of the prospect, and then hopes – yes hopes – that the buyer will come back and choose you.
What the sales model still does not handle at all is the How.
How does the buyer recognize and manage all of the internal elements that
must be addressed so s/he can get the necessary buy-in to make a purchase or
resolve a problem?
And there is no sales model that helps the buyer manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes decision issues. Because the sales model is perfect for understanding and assessing needs, digitally following the observable buying behaviors, and placing a solution. But it still, with all of our technology, cannot influence the prospect’s private discussions and meetings that greatly bias the buying decision.
As my friend Roger Cauvin says, “The pain is in the buying decision process.”
ENTER BUYING FACILITATION?
Just like you couldn’t walk by a great house and walk in and buy it, and then go home and tell your spouse that you just bought a house and now you’ll be moving, buyers can’t just recognize a great solution and bring it in. People must buy-in. Technology must work around it. The work-arounds that hold the current problem in place must be re-directed. Sales doesn’t do that. You can’t do that. But the time it takes buyers to come up with their own answers is the length of the sales cycle. And you asking them how it’s done, or who decides it is still acting from a needs analysis/solution placement head set: even if you know how it’s done (which even the buyer doesn’t – read my newest book Dirty Little Secrets), or who the decision makers are (which the buyer doesn’t know at first, and an outsider could never influence), it won’t affect the route the buyer takes off-line.
Take a look at adding a new set of skills to what you’re already doing. It’s an addition to sales, but not based on needs analysis or solution placement. We wait while buyers do this anyway. Why not help them and be part of the solution?
Using Buying Facilitation? you will be able to get onto the buyer’s buying decision team on the first call. Yep. Once you stop attempting to understand their ‘pain’ and place your solution, there is a whole different set of possibilities.
How is the prospect managing their issues? How will they know if it’s worth it to seek a solution that might work better? How will they know that one solution over another will fit within their environment? What has stopped them from seeking a solution until now? How will they ensure that the new management will have their interests at heart? These are just a tiny fraction of the questions buyers must answer before they make a purchase. And sales does not help them address these issues, nor does your charming personality and fabulous solution.
Those are a few of the questions buyers must manage. Do they sell your product? Well, yes and no. Not specifically, but until buyers manage some of these issues, they can’t buy anyway. Your choices are to act as a neutral navigator and help them walk through their decision issues (with no bias or solution push) or sit and wait til they’ve done it themselves.
So – would you rather sell? Or help buyer buy?
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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