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Managing the pushback we create

Submitted by on Monday, 1 November 2010

We don’t get objections because buyers don’t like us or our solutions. Or because they don’t trust us. They object – push back – because they are protecting themselves from the fallout that would happen if something new entered their environment before they are ready.

When we notice a problem we’ve got a solution for, and go barreling forth to make a sale, we’re forgetting that in the buyer’s environment, their problem sits within a system  – a system that follows the laws of science: systems maintain homeostasis – balance – at all costs. And no change can happen until the system figures out how to change in a way that maintains equilibrium.

Unfortunately, sales treats an Identified Problem as if it were an isolated event, and leaves the buyer to figure out all how to handle the people, and policies, and relationships, and initiatives that will end up being disrupted if a new solution were to enter. And the time it takes buyers to do this – and they do it behind-the-scenes – is the length of the sales cycle. Sellers wait helplessly: The sales model does not enter this end of the buying decision journey.

SALES ONLY HANDLES A TINY PIECE OF THE BUYING DECISION

Sales only focuses on one aspect of the buyer’s Problem Space. Yet buyers (like anyone consideringchange) must, must make sure there is buy-in and appropriate change management before they make a change to buy something. And so you sit and wait — or, in the case of many sales folks I know – find ways to try to manipulate your way in, attempt to ‘meet’ the ‘influencers’ (wrongly believing that if you have enough people who like you on the Buying Decision Team that you’re going to close more. And how’s that working for you?), find ways to drip/send/nurture, consult, or advise so you can be top-of-mind…

Do you see a pattern here? It’s all about the seller pushing their way in, trying to sell a solution, assuming (wrongly, 93% of the time) that because there appears to be a need, that the person must be a prospect…. Where, might I ask, is the buyer in all this? I’ll tell you where. They are:

  • attempting to find the right people to be on their Buying Decision Team;
  • attempting to herd cats and get everyone to buy-in to some sort of change;
  • figuring out what areas of their company are going to touch a solution and therefore be discombobulated;
  • deciding what to do with the old vendor.

and you’re pushing/nurturing/sending, assuming that with the right data sent at the right time, knowing the right people, you’ll win. But you don’t. You are actually creating your own objections.

Instead, why not add another skill set, and instead of pushing, or trying to sell, or do needs assessment too early, use Buying Facilitation™ to help the buyer navigate through their internal decision elements. And then, then, you can gather data to understand needs and offer your solution.

Buyers have to do this anyway. Instead of learning objection-handling techniques, or attempt to use marketing automation and sales enablement strategies – all of which still push the solution at inappropriate times 90% of the time – why not learn a new skill set, help facilitate the change, and become part of the Buying Decision Team because of your true consultative capability.

Buying Facilitation™ + Needs Assessment + Solution/Vendor Choice = Purchase.

You can either sit and wait for buyers to do this on their own (as you have been doing for decades) or you can learn a new skill set. Do you want to sell? Or have someone buy?

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My newest book, Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it, discusses this in detail, complete with a case study that shows how Buying Facilitation™ is used in conjunction with sales.

If you’d like to learn Buying Facilitation™,

  1. Learn through a Guided Study program;
  2. Listen while Sharon Drew makes Buying Facilitation™ calls;
  3. Buy a Learning Accelerator.

But whatever you do, if you want less pushback and more buy-in, move beyond selling.

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