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How Sales Must Shift In This Uncertain Economy

Submitted by on Friday, 6 February 2009

Until now, you’ve had a rather specific definition of sales: uncover need, define how a solution fits, and place a product where there is a match between your product and the need. But given that the ‘need’ is no longer the buyer’s focus, you can use this time to help them see the entire elephant – the full range of issues and elements they need to address in an uncertain economy – and decide how to move forward while waiting for the economy to turn itself around.

In this environment of mystery, change, and transition, a product sale – especially one that follows your accustomed time/relationship trajectory – is unlikely. Business as usual no longer exists.

As the representatives of your company, you are uniquely positioned to gain access to buyers. Indeed, short of a new marketing initiative, you are the only representative of your company to be in a position to lead customers through this difficult time.

Use this time to develop a stronger bond with your clients – one that will not only help you close more sales, but will solidify your relationship with them, exhibit your ability to serve and be trustworthy and smart, and offer them the tools to make sense of their environment (outside of the sales focus). Not only will you differentiate yourself from the competition, but you’ll get sales that you wouldn’t have gotten, and put yourself on the buyer’s decision team for the future.

It’s time to help buyers take a good look at the elephant in front of them. It’s time to change the game, add new skills and change your job description from ‘seller’ to ‘decision strategist’. What the buyer needs is not your product or a new solution.

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  • Ed Borasky

    Welcome back!! I’ve been wondering what you were up to. I just recently “joined the recession” myself after 16 years in a job that I loved. I suppose the obvious question is, “how does one integrate Buying Facilitation into the networking process”, but the one I have is “What is different about the current economic downturn and how has Buying Facilitation changed?”

  • Ed Borasky

    Welcome back!! I’ve been wondering what you were up to. I just recently “joined the recession” myself after 16 years in a job that I loved. I suppose the obvious question is, “how does one integrate Buying Facilitation into the networking process”, but the one I have is “What is different about the current economic downturn and how has Buying Facilitation changed?”

  • Ed Borasky

    P.S.: I am following you on Twitter … @znmeb

  • Ed Borasky

    P.S.: I am following you on Twitter … @znmeb

  • http://sharondrewmorgen.com sharondrew

    thanks, ed. i haven’t been gone anywhere – just writing a new book on how sales must change now to help customers make decisions rather than to push product.

    sorry to hear that your job wasn’t recession proof. i suspect we’re all suffering. i keep thinking it’s time to retire!

    you have 3 questions: 1. Buying Facilitation hasn’t changed – but i’ve learned how to better code the systems that people and buyers live within, and have broken down the entire process so i can teach it better. i especially like my Guided Study Sessions which offers the entire model, in miniscule, learnable bites. so the process remains robust and powerful. i’m just getting better at it.

    2. what’s different in the down turn, is that now folks have no way of making the decisions they are accustomed to making: they no longer have the means to measure the data they used to make decisions, and need to come up with new criteria for making them. i suspect they will be values,criteria and people driven rather than numbers driven. in some ways, i see the economic downturn as a very positive happening because all of the greed, the bad/abusive practices of the past 8 or more years, will now be upended, and we’ll have a clear path to move forward. i believe that the new thinkers, the people who care about people and the earth, will now have the ‘floor’ to make a difference. i count myself as one of those. i see my model now coming into mainstream as sellers (and negotiators, and coaches etc) begin to realize that pushing agendas doesn’t work. it’s now time to truly serve each other and help others design their own best solutions.

    3. Buying Facilitation and social networking: my friend Scott Allen wrote a networking book (The Virtual Handshake) that i wrote parts of. before anyone does anything – make friends, choose to speak with one person over another etc – there is a decision to be made. you can do the ‘sales’ stuff and ‘pitch’ yourself, or you can use your time to help another person decide how to ‘be’ with you: “How would you know that partnering with me would give you what you seek?” . there are lists of Facilitative Questions that i posed in Scott’s book. also, you might get some out of the “Buying Facilitation” ebook (www.buyingfacilitation.com) if you haven’t read it already.
    the context for using Buying Facilitation is irrelevant: whenever you need to help someone make a decision to do anything, BF works wonders.

    Stay well, Ed. and best to you.
    sd

  • Sharon Drew

    thanks, ed. i haven’t been gone anywhere – just writing a new book on how sales must change now to help customers make decisions rather than to push product.
    sorry to hear that your job wasn’t recession proof. i suspect we’re all suffering. i keep thinking it’s time to retire!
    you have 3 questions: 1. Buying Facilitation hasn’t changed – but i’ve learned how to better code the systems that people and buyers live within, and have broken down the entire process so i can teach it better. i especially like my Guided Study Sessions which offers the entire model, in miniscule, learnable bites. so the process remains robust and powerful. i’m just getting better at it.
    2. what’s different in the down turn, is that now folks have no way of making the decisions they are accustomed to making: they no longer have the means to measure the data they used to make decisions, and need to come up with new criteria for making them. i suspect they will be values,criteria and people driven rather than numbers driven. in some ways, i see the economic downturn as a very positive happening because all of the greed, the bad/abusive practices of the past 8 or more years, will now be upended, and we’ll have a clear path to move forward. i believe that the new thinkers, the people who care about people and the earth, will now have the ‘floor’ to make a difference. i count myself as one of those. i see my model now coming into mainstream as sellers (and negotiators, and coaches etc) begin to realize that pushing agendas doesn’t work. it’s now time to truly serve each other and help others design their own best solutions.
    3. Buying Facilitation and social networking: my friend Scott Allen wrote a networking book (The Virtual Handshake) that i wrote parts of. before anyone does anything – make friends, choose to speak with one person over another etc – there is a decision to be made. you can do the ‘sales’ stuff and ‘pitch’ yourself, or you can use your time to help another person decide how to ‘be’ with you: “How would you know that partnering with me would give you what you seek?” . there are lists of Facilitative Questions that i posed in Scott’s book. also, you might get some out of the “Buying Facilitation” ebook (www.buyingfacilitation.com) if you haven’t read it already.
    the context for using Buying Facilitation is irrelevant: whenever you need to help someone make a decision to do anything, BF works wonders.
    Stay well, Ed. and best to you.
    sd

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