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Buying Facilitation® is not sales; it is a spiritual practice and leadership model

Submitted by on Friday, 15 January 2010

My friend Martin Rutte recently wrote to a friend of his about my work. He said:

‘Sharon Drew Morgen is doing some amazing things on selling…..she thinks of selling as a spiritual act. She’s also discovered an entire new way to get at what I call the ‘backstory’ (what’s going on behind the scenes) in a sale.”

I suspect if Martin – who has read a few of my books, and taken a program with me years ago – believes this is true, or if he doesn’t know how to say it better, it’s time for me to correct a few misconceptions.I think my new book Dirty Little Secrets addresses this topic thoroughly, but for those who haven’t read the book and who recognize that I’m the thought leader behind decision facilitation as an additional skill set for selling, let me take a few moments to explain.To begin with, I do believe my model is a spiritual one. By being a facilitator that is able to truly lead buyers (and coachees, and employees, and and and) through their unique issues to enable them to recognize and manage all of the behind-the-scenes issues they need to address prior to making any change (like purchasing a solution or changing a behavior or managing relationship issues or or ..) and become the unbiased GPS system to navigate the change issues, we are truly being servant leaders. And this skill is useful for any influencing situation – one in which an unbiased outsider can help Others make their own decisions, based on their own criteria. A servant-leader skill set.

Next. In sales, we understand need/pain and attempt to place solution. What sales does not do, however, is manage the off-line, idiosyncratic, private, personal decision issues that have nothing to do with a need or solution and everything to do with change management as the status quo gets reconfigured.

OUTSIDERS CANNOT INFLUENCE OR UNDERSTAND THE BACKSTORY

Even if we were able to understand or ‘get to’ the back story, we would not be able to influence it due to the idiosyncratic nature of the political, systemic, relational, private, and emotional underpinnings that are so difficult (even for those within the system) to address.

A problem that may require a solution sits comfortably within a status quo that needs to be willing to shift to allow in something new, otherwise it will fight to maintain itself. We all see this as we each individually battle our own change issues. And an external solution is irrelevant if we are not ready or able to change.

One of my dirty little secrets is that when buyers begin their process of trying to resolve issues, they themselves don’t understand the full back story or its relevance to change.Indeed, outsiders can never be a part of this, and certainly can never understand or influence it.

Sales just does not handle this. But Buying Facilitation™ does; based on recognizing and managing internal change issues that buyers must address privately,  it is a wholly different skill set with different rules, outcomes, skills, and goals.

Buying Facilitation™ not only ‘gets to’ the back story, it provides a neutral capability to help buyers manage it and discover their own route through.

To conclude, I do believe the selling process – with the addition of Buying Facilitation™ as the front end – is a spiritual practice. On it’s own, as a solution placement tool, it is not.

So for those of you wanting to sell better, and ‘get to’ the ‘back story’ to help buyers buy, you’ll just have to add Buying Facilitation™ to what you are doing.

sd

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