Sharon Drew provided Qvidian’s Connect11 attendees with a very engaging, thought provoking and interactive session focused on leveraging Buying Facilitation® techniques to help manage the buying decision path earlier, and thereby drive higher win rates and increased sales effectiveness. Prior to the conference she spent quite a bit of time doing research and speaking with a few of our clients to make sure she had a clear understanding of our needs and possible solutions for us. We learned a lot, and were able to use her ideas to help us respond to our clients better.
Three months ago we were a successful business in our ninth year. Even in the midst of the recession we were making profits, which for company in the training sector was great, but……
Making new sales was very hard work, it always had been and we’d never in nine years been able to create a steady stream of predictable sales. Our solutions are loved by clients (200 of the UKs leading organisations). Almost 90% of them renew their license. So clients love the leadership and management toolkits, but new business took too long and often we didn’t really know what was actually happening in terms of progress. To paraphrase a typical prospect “this is a fantastic solution, I’m really interested”, but then nothing happened. We struggled to find a compelling reason for the prospect to move.
We brought Sharon Drew to Edinburgh for a week and started to train the team in Buying Facilitation®. I wouldn’t pretend it was anything, but a tough and difficult week as we all had to go back and question our mental models of how we listened, regarded change and approached developing new business. Throughout the week Sharon Drew challenged and supported us with huge personal commitment and respect and for the following 8 weeks she coached and cajoled us as we took Buying Facilitation® on board.
- We used to think you had to get meetings to sell – now we phone people up and have great conversations and we’ve closed new business without ever meeting the client.
- Sales used to take 3-6 months – now we’re closing sales in 3-6 weeks.
- We didn’t know where the sale was with the prospect – now we are part of the buying team and are fully informed.
- Price was thought to be the issue – now we are finding far less price sensitivity.
- We couldn’t predict sales – now we have a strong predicable new business pipe which is closing regularly.
Would I hire Sharon Drew again? Without a moments hesitation!
– Peter Casebow, CEO GoodPractice
After having used your methodology for many years in multiple settings, I felt compelled to share with you my experience utilizing your facilitation process. I’ve read two of your books and attended one of your workshops, so I feel I have a reasonable understand of your strategies.I first used your facilitation method while a recruiter then later in executive level business development. The recruiter role is a pure sales role where I had to sell on both sides of the selling equation, the hiring company and the job applicant. Utilizing your questioning framework allowed me to rapidly understand the documented and hidden position requirements from the hiring manager. Questioning and listening in this manner also achieved competitive differentiation from my competition.
In executive level business development, your facilitation methodology again proven critical to establishing strategic partnerships with companies that were often several times larger than the firm I was with at the time.
When I was Director and VP of Recruiting for companies like HP, Fidelity and IDG, I used the facilitation methods to solicit the real position requirements from hiring managers, even at the senior management levels. The Morgan Facilitation method of questioning and listening also proved valuable when convincing candidates to accept jobs we had offered.
While you may have first developed your methodology for sales, it has proven quite valuable whenever I needed to question and listen for what was really going on with an individual or an organization.
Bravo and thank you so very much for your wisdom and passion with which you share it.
– Michael R. Neece, Founder & CEO InterviewMastery.com
My sales cycle time used to average 9 months. Using your method, I got a new client within a WEEK of my first meeting with him.
– Barbara Heyn, Atticus Consulting, LLC
“Selling with Integrity describes the first new paradigm in sales. It offers a model for how to bring sould into sales, and teaches the hands-on skills to do it.”
– Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
“Finally, a sales paradigm which supports our spiritual values and lays the foundation for the paradigm shifts occuring in business today.”
– Ken Blanchard, coauthor of “The One Minute Manager”
“Morgen has done it again – described an exceptional approach to selling and made it clear and concise. Read this book [Selling with Integrity] and practice what’s between the covers. It will make your next sales call the most successful in your career.”
– Larry Wilson, author of “Changing the Game”
“Morgen’s Buying Facilitation® is light years ahead of the rest of the field.”
– Philip Kotler, author of “Marketing Management”
William Blair and Company is a 75 year old investment banking and management company in Chicago. My team supports a group of investment professionals who primarily concentrate on managing growth equity portfolios for high net worth individuals and small institutions. Our task is to enable them to become true “advisors” as opposed to strictly portfolio managers. This is done by researching and hiring managers, funds, and investment opportunities from other companies who’s expertise will complement and enhance our advisors ability to provide their investor clients with truly diversified investment solutions based upon the clients unique circumstances and appetites.
While this approach makes sense in many ways – especially to the client – it has been difficult to integrate new learning around actually helping buyers make decisions into the culture of the firm. Our advisors are deeply rooted in very traditional sales methods of open – present – close (and hope for the best). They have also become very ingrained in playing the role of “expert” without recognizing that buyers don’t buy until they are ready no matter how “expert” the advisors are. While the old way certainly works some of the time, fierce competition for these clients demands a different approach.
Buying Facilitation® has helped us in two important ways. First, key members of my team have been trained by Sharon Drew. With that background we have been able to walk advisors thru a decision making process to determine what the clients would need on the product side, Buying Facilitation® teaches them how to work with the buyer to design unique, appropriate solutions that they would be willing to buy from us. As a results our advisors have been able to expand their practice and build meaningful leverage and growth. Our entire manager-of-managers platform has been developed based on what the advisors have gleaned from this collaborative decision making approach (Buying Facilitation®) and as a result we know how to help them to compete effectively for HNW clients in today’s marketplace.
Secondly, and this is where the long-term benefits are really beginning to pay off, our using Buying Facilitation® instead of conventional sales helps the advisors see that their deeply rooted “open-present-close-hope” sales methodology is not consistent with being a trusted advisor as much as it is with being a “broker” (a term they despise). Some of the braver members of the group are actually involving a member of my team (trained by Sharon Drew and using the collaborative decision making of Buying Facilitation®) to help buyers recognize their own criteria and figure out how to make their best decision using us as their supplier – all of this, early on in the sales cycle with their clients and it is providing them with success much earlier, and with more prospects, than they would normally have achieved using conventional sales methods. And it has been a very positive reaction. We are just now beginning to see the guard come down and the realization set in that this stuff works! It has been difficult given the cultural shift that has been required but things are indeed moving forward at a more rapid pace than ever.
We are still at the “aha” stage for the many. But as they see the power of helping clients make their own decisions rather than having to be the one with all the answers they are becoming more open to our advice and coaching. There is tough work yet to be done, but the skills we have developed thru Sharon Drew’s program have helped us become true agents of change, which is rewarding.
– Jim Vaughan, VP Marketing, Operations (High Net Worth),
William Blair Select Investment Partners