Facilitating Success, One Decision At A Time

Sharon Drew Morgen

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Why Can’t a Buyer Make Quicker Buying Decisions?

Think about the last purchase you made. What criteria did you use to make the purchase?

Think about the last purchase you made. What criteria did you use to make the purchase? Choose the product and/or vendor? Choose the time of purchase?

I just bought my first Mac. I thought about buying one for years before I actually bought it. Lots of reasons, and they all made sense at the time. 1. I love love love (and still do) my IBM ThinkPad; 2. my ThinkPad works well, is very comfortable, and it travels well; 3. I don’t make largish business purchases until the end of the year when my accountant tells me I need to spend money – or not; 4. I don’t like to change what I’m used to if there doesn’t seem to be a need to.

I like cool technology as much as the next person. I bought the first writing-pad/computer pen (logitec – and it didn’t work). I bought Simon (remember Simon)? I actually have a drawer full of cool technology that has gone the way of the LP. But because I started with a PC, I had been scared that I couldn’t transfer my bazillion files over.

But now, with so many out-of-country clients and coaching clients and licensees, I find myself on Skype all of the time, and had to buy a cam-corder so folks could see me (Why is that important when the folks at the other end of my national calls don’t need to see me??). And the video cam on my PC sucks. And I travel a lot and can’t take the damned thing with me. And, the biggest reason of all for which I need no rationale, I need to spend some money for my end-of-year, or pay Uncle Sam, and I’d rather pay myself.

So I bought a Macbook Pro. I’ve had it a week and don’t even like the thing yet – my IBM keyboard is certainly more comfortable on my hands, wrists, and fingers. And the keyboard is missing stuff that I like and it’s not really a good tool for writers. But I bought it because I needed to spend some money and I figured the internal camera and great Skype set up were a good rationale. Period.

What is the point? The point is that my decision to purchase had nothing much to do with the Mac. Certainly, if  I didn’t need to spend some money (after all, my clients have managed to work with me for all these years without seeing me), I would never have bought one.

SALES ONLY HANDLES THE SOLUTION

Given the yada-yada’s of a Mac (and I’m told there are many), I wouldn’t have bought one if not for my accountant. The cost to my ‘internal system’ have been high. A session at the Apple store so I could figure out how to use the damn thing (my IBM works just fine, thank you), a whole day with my techie as he customized everything I needed done (this, after the Apple folks transferred data but made a mess of my desktop). I’m still making lists as to what is wrong with the new Mac and Shawn, my tech guy, is patiently fixing stuff and teaching me stuff. Gruesome, really.

Here is the bottom line: Buyers never buy because they have pain (which they would have fixed already if there really was pain) or because they have a need. Buyers buy to resolve a business problem. In my case, my business problem was that I earned enough money this year that I was going to have a tax problem if I didn’t spend money. My ‘problem’ had absolutely nothing to do with needing a new computer. And until or unless I was ready to go through the drama that bringing in a new solution would create, and until or unless I was willing to have my tech guy spend a day fixing Mac stuff rather than doing the real work I need him to do, and until or unless I was willing to take the time I needed to take to learn and be frustrated (I certainly had to wait until my new book was completed) I wouldn’t have made a purchase when I did.

You can see from my example what goes in to a buying decision. You have this happen in your life all the time. Why do we treat a purchasing decision as if it were an isolated event, and forget that there is an entire system that holds the status quo in place, and would have to be re-organized efficiently before being ready to make a change?

Before buyers can buy, they have to figure out how to manage their internal, behind-the-scenes systems issues, and make sure any purchase/change fits into the system without major disruption. Take a look at Buying Facilitation® as the model can help your buyers recognize and manage their decision issues – and THEN you can sell more, quicker, and without objections. Truly.

Think about this. Have a look at my new book that introduces you to the change management and decision making issues that go on, and see how you can add some new skills to help your buyers buy. Dirty Little Secrets.

More Stories By Sharon Drew Morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen is the visionary and thought leader behind Buying Facilitation® the new sales paradigm that focuses on helping buyers manage their buying decision. She is the author of the NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity as well as 5 other books and hundreds of articles that explain different aspects of the decision facilitation model that teaches buyers how to buy.

Morgen dramatically shifts the buying decision tools from solution-focused to decision-support. Sales very competently manages the solution placement end of the decision, yet buyers have been left on their own while sellers are left waiting for a response, and hoping they can close. But no longer: Morgen actually gives sellers the tools to lead buyers through all of their internal, idiosyncratic decisions.

Morgen teaches Buying Facilitation® to global corporations, and she licenses the material with training companies seeking to add new skills to what they are already offering their clients. She has a new book coming out October 15, 2009 called Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it which defines what is happening within buyer’s cultures (systems) and explains how they make the decisions they make.

Morgen has focused on the servant-leader/decision facilitation aspect of sales since her first book came out in 1992, called Sales On The Line.
In all of her books, she unmasks the behind-the-scenes decisions that need to go on before buyers choose a solution, and gives sellers the tools to aid them.

In addition, Morgen changes the success rate of sales from the accepted 10% to 40%: the time it takes buyers to come up with their own answers is the length of the sales cycle, and her books – especially Dirty Little Secrets – teaches sellers how to guide the buyers through to all of their decisions, thereby shifting the sales cycle from a failed model that only manages half of the buying cycle, to a very competent Professional skill set.

Morgen lives in Austin TX, where she dances and works with children’s fund raising projects in her spare time.