Facilitating Success, One Decision At A Time

Sharon Drew Morgen

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Why Do We Blame Buyers?

I once told a group that I was going to title a book I’d Close More Sales if it Weren’t for the Buyer. I got a standing ovation! And I assumed I’d get a laugh. That’s like saying ‘I would have had a better birth experience if it weren’t for my mother.’

Why do we assume buyers are, um, stupid? Because it’s obvious to us they should buy. From where we stand, it seems we have THE perfect fit – the right solution at the right price, filling the right need, and the right relationship.

But we consistently forget that a buyer’s problem is not an isolated event, and it sits within the buyer’s environment – their system, if you will – all mashed up with a bunch of unknown and unknowable other elements that not only hold it in place, but maintain it daily.

And we walk in as Super Saviours, assuming we are, as Dr. Seuss says in The Sneetches The Fixxit Up Chappie.

But it’s so much more complex – even for a very simple sale. Because every single purchase is a Change Management issue. Every single one. And, so different from what we perceive, buyers are doing perfectly well as they are – or they would have fixed their problem already.

So, no, it’s not a money problem, or a competition problem, or a differentiation problem. And where prospects go is not to find a better price or visit your competition. They go to the next department, or an old vendor, or the tech group, to see if they can get buy-in for change.

Because until or unless buyers get agreement from everyone and everything that touches the Identified Problem, and would be in some way stressed if something different entered the system, they will do nothing. Regardless of their need, or your stellar, and (of course) perfect solution.

It’s  not about you, your solution, your relationship, your price, your care, your presentation, your appointment, your charisma, or having the perfect fit.

Until or unless buyers recognize and manage all of the internal issues that not only created their Identified Problem but keep it in place daily, and until they all buy-in to whatever change will happen when something new enters, they will do absolutely nothing.

Check out my new book Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. It will explain what’s going on and what you can do about it. Then you can stop telling your manager that you’ve got prospects in the pipeline, and you’ll have a much better understanding of where and how you and your solution will fit in.


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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.