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The differences between the solution sale and the buying decision: let’s go to a wedding

Submitted by on Monday, 24 October 2011

Let’s say you were going to a wedding. You had the gift, decided on the outfit, picked a time to leave to get there on time, decided to use your car rather than you’re spouse’s, because it was more comfortable. Then you had to plug in the directions to your trusty GPS system.

What does your GPS system do? It gets you from here to there without any input other than coordinates. It knows you must go left one mile, and then hang a right at Route 26. It knows you will drive about 40 minutes. It knows there is one alternate route. But it doesn’t need to know what you are wearing, or the gift you brought. It doesn’t need to know that there was an accident ahead that would cause you to slow down. It knows how to get you to where you want to be: it does not concern itself with the details of your personal issues.

Why am I putting sales and weddings and GPS systems in one article? Because I’m making a parallel between the buyer’s decision path and the sellers involvement with a solution choice.

THE TWO JOBS OF SALES

As a seller (if you can follow me here) you need to know the needs to help determine the right gift. You need to understand who is involved, what they like, how much money is budgeted. You need to understand as much as you can to determine that your solution and the buyer’s needs match. It’s the equivalent – using the above analogy – to understanding why you chose to go in your car, or what you decided to wear.

As a buying facilitator, you just need to understand systems and how change happens to bring in something new – the path from here to there.  A GPS system does NOT need the details of the activity. It does not care if you are going to a wedding or a funeral. Just left, right, left, right.

BOTH SELLING AND BUYING FACILITATION® TRIGGER THE BUY-PATH

Imagine if you had 2 jobs as a seller: one, to understand need and place a solution appropriately; one, to help buyers traverse their internal change management/systems issues so they get the buy-in and path to bring in something new.

You know how to do the needs assessment and solution placement. That’s sales. But do you know how to enter a buyer’s system with no questions about need? With no reason to gather data about how they’ll use a solution, or choose a vendor?

Do you know how to interact with a buyer to be their GPS system and manage their internal change? Because until buyers do this, you’ll be sitting and waiting and hoping for them to close.

What do you need to know or believe differently to be willing/able to put aside your curiosity as a sales professional, and put on the hat of a GPS system in order to teach your buyers how to put their ducks in a row – to go down the path of finding the right people, developing the right criteria, figuring out the change issues – so they can buy your solution.

Buying Facilitation® is a wholly different skill set than sales. It is a change management model. You use this to help buyers maneuver and discover, just like a GPS system goes from here to there. By using this model, you can get buyers to the point of being ready to buy – just like the GPS system gets you to the front door of the wedding. And then you can bring your gift and have some fun.

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