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Sales Treats A Need As If It Were An Isolated Event

Submitted by on Thursday, 11 June 2009

buyingfacilitationWe all know that sales is a failed model; we’re good sellers and offer great customer service, our products are good, and our buyers have a need that we can fulfill. But we fail to close at least 90% of the time.

If it’s not us, not our product, and the need is obvious, what’s going on? Why don’t buyers know they’re supposed to buy?

The problem is the sales model. It’s broken. It treats the ‘need’ or the Identified Problem as if it were an isolated event, instead of recognizing that an Identified Problem is just one piece of a larger problem, and sits in a tangle of ‘stuff’ that holds it in place in the buyer’s environment. What sales can’t manage is the mysterious route the buyer must go through to untangle the internal issues before they can make a decision to buy.

Think about your weight, or your work-out schedule. Do you eat the way you ‘should’? Do you work out as often as you’d like? Why not? Because, well, because. There are a litany of excuses, rationalizations, or reasons you use to explain the oversight. But the explanations hold the lack in place, making it difficult to change without re-thinking the excuses.

And so with our prospects. Their ‘need’ has been there for some time; there are even work-arounds they’ve created that manage the need so it functions well-enough. Indeed: if the buyer believed the ‘need’ was urgent, they would have resolved it already. So although it looks like an ‘urgent need’ to us – given that we know what Excellence can look like with our solution – it’s not so urgent to our buyers. Their managers are leaders – not as good as they’d be with your leadership training, but good enough. Their software works – not as good as it would with your solution, but good enough. It’s not sitting there, waiting for you to show up.

When we enter a prospect’s culture – their ‘system’ if you will – we forget that there are multiple work-arounds that hold the ‘need’ in place daily. And until or unless the buyer is ready, willing, and able, to recognize and manage each person, each regulation, each vendor issue, each departmental problem, that holds the Identified Problem in place, they will do nothing; it’s far more important for them to maintain systems congruency than it is to resolve something that’s working ‘well enough’, if the solution will damage the status quo.

Until or unless buyers know how to manage all of the elements that touch the need so there won’t be internal chaos once a new solution is brought in, they will do nothing. And the Sales Model doesn’t help with that end of the buying decision.

Have a look at my book Buying Facilitation: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions at www.buyingfacilitation.com. There are 2 sample chapters there that will give you a peak at a model that teaches buyers how to accomplish buy-in to change. They won’t buy until they do it; you might as well help.

instead of recognizing that an Identified Problem is just one piece of a larger problem, and sits in a tangle of ‘stuff’ that holds it in place in the buyer’s environment. What sales can’t manage is the mysterious route the buyer must go through to untangle the internal issues before they can make a decision to buy.

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