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Make the vendor an active partner from early in the buyer’s decision path

Submitted by on Friday, 13 May 2011

Because choosing a solution is the last thing a buyer does, the vendor isn’t an active partner at the point the most important decisions get made.  We  like to think that because we gather good data, deeply understand pain, and have a relevant solution, we’ll be considered an ‘active partner.’

SELLERS ENTER TOO EARLY

We fail to realize that we are only being brought in when they have all of their internal ducks in a row and are ready to bring in a change.  When buyers are

  • considering all options and face confusion and internal politics,
  • recognizing a problem and the timing on fixing it,
  • doing research into possible vendors or solutions,
  • figuring out which problems to resolve in which order,
  • understanding how a new solution will create shifts in their culture and technology,
  • figuring out who needs to be on the Buying Decision Team, the prospect isn’t ready to buy.

As sellers, we don’t realize that buyers have an incomplete understanding who to invite on the Buying  Decision Team when they begin their process (I write about this in my latest book Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it). The entire buying path is largely unknown up until close to the end of their decision – and until it is, they cannot make a purchase.

In fact, there are so many human issues that rear their ugly heads that a buyer really has no idea at the start who to involve, what the buy-in problems will be, nor what personal, corporate, or market issues will have to be resolved prior to making a purchase. And until they figure this out, they cannot buy, regardless of the efficacy of our solution.

SALES IGNORES THE BACK-END, NON-SOLUTION-RELATED  DECISION PATH

Sales gives us no skills to help with those back end decisions as they are not needs/solution-related. And we sit and wait while buyers figure it out. But Buying Facilitation® does: it’s a change management/decision facilitation model that gives you an additional skill set to lead buyers through their private issues that we’ve always sat and waited for them to complete.

No, it’s not sales, and it’s not solution-placement or needs-assessment — sales does a wonderful job of doing that. But add Buying Facilitation® to your sales skills, and enter the buyer’s decision path early and become a very active partner. You will:

  • close 8x more sales;
  • halve the close time;
  • understand who is not a prospect on the first call;
  • only go to meetings when the entire Buying Decision Team is involved (and you’ll help get all of the members included);
  • rarely need a proposal, or be in a competitive situation.

Would you rather sell? or have someone buy? They are two different activities. Sales will only help you place your solution. Buying Facilitation® can lead the buyer through their decisions. Call to discuss how to become a part of the buyer’s buying journey.

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