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Why Your Prospects Aren’t Buying: the problem sales can’t solve

Submitted by on Thursday, 25 August 2011

You’ve done your homework. You’ve found the right buyers – prospects with needs you can fulfill and can afford your solution. You’ve nurtured them, contacted them, met with them, scored them, pitched them, networked with them, sent them gifts. But only a small fraction buy.

Where do they go?

Industry lore believes that 80% of your prospects will purchase a solution similar to yours within two years of your relationship with them – but not from you (and they leave behind a trail of dead sales people in the meantime). Why aren’t those 80% buying from you now?

WHEN DO BUYERS BUY – AND WHAT TAKES THEM SO LONG?

Buyers don’t buy because they can’t buy. The ramifications of a purchase

  • made at the wrong time,
  • involving an insufficient number of stakeholders,
  • with only a fraction of the ultimate Buying Decision Team on board,
  • with no clear idea of how the status quo will be effected,
  • without all of those who touch the solution in agreement,

are too big to risk disruption if not managed prior to the purchase.

The status quo has worked well-enough until now, and your solution would be disruptive if the above issues weren’t in agreement withchange.

  • Buyers buy when their entire Buying Decision Team is on board and has offered their voice and buying criteria, and has bought-in to managing whatever change a new solution will demand.
  • Buyers buy when the folks who touch the solution know how the changes will effect their people and policies, relationships and internal politics.
  • Buyers buy when they know their current, beloved vendors cannot meet their needsand the new solution will fit somehow with the existing technology or systems.
  • Buyers buy when everyone involved decides it’s time to resolve a business problem.

They don’t buy because they are in love with your solution.

Until or unless buyers are able to recognize and manage all of the change management issues they will face when bringing in a new solution, they will do nothing.

And the sales model – regardless of the way you sell – does nothing to help buyers navigate their internal, private, and very confusing journey towards buy-in.

The problem with sales is that it treats an Identified Problem (or need) as if it were an isolated event. It’s not. The ‘need’ sits within a system that has not only created it, but holds it in place daily. Attempting to resolve this ‘need’ without managing the change issues involved in a solution would cause disruption that the status quo will not tolerate. And here is where you lose your prospects.

A PURCHASE IS A CHANGE MANAGEMENT PROBLEM

We recognize needs, do needs assessment, and place solutions. But sales does not help buyers manage the non-solution, back-end issues they must address at the back-end.

It’s here we lose our sales. A purchase is a change management problem, after all. And until or unless buyers manage their change issues and ensure that the people and policies, relationships and internal politics, are ready, willing and able to change, they will do nothing. And that’s when they show up two years later as buyers – it has taken them that long to manage the internal buy-in.

The sales model only manages the last 10% that buyers do: choose a vendor and a solution. And the push back we get is because we are pushing a solution into a currently balanced system that will fight to maintain homeostasis.

Add Buying Facilitation® to the front end of your sales process, and you will start at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. It’s a different skill set – more like being a GPS system or navigation model that is systems based. But you’re either going to sit and wait for buyers to do this, or use new skills to enter the buying journey earlier.

Until now, you’ve been losing prospects to their buy-in issues. But you no longer need to. Avoid time delays in the buying decision. Help buyers choose you in 1/8 the time – really – and be automatically differentiated. Help your buyers understand how to manage their change – on the first call – and turn ‘names’ into real prospects, and avoid wasting time following folks who will never buy.

Would you rather sell? Or have someone buy.

Learn more about Buying Facilitation® either via http://buyingfaciliation.com or by reading samples of my two latest books: Buying Facilitation®: the new way to sell that expands and influences thinking and Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

 

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