Facilitating Success, One Decision At A Time

Sharon Drew Morgen

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What Makes A Prospect A Buyer?

Buy CycleA colleague recently said he was waiting for a deal to close. How did he know it would close? I asked. “Because someone contacted me, and we’ve had several discussions. In our last chat we discussed price.”

SDM: What percentage of the buying decision team does your prospect represent?
A: There are only 4 people on the team, so 25 per cent.

SDM: Any influencers?
A: I have no idea.
SDM: Where is he along his buy path? Stage 3 where one person does preliminary research? Stage 8 where decision team members choose between an external resource or an internal workaround? Or Stage 11 when they are choosing best solutions?
A: No idea.
SDM: What did your conversations consist of?
A: Explanations about our services and how they could alleviate the problem. I gave him some pitches after understanding their needs.
SDM: Are they still considering a workaround and contacted you to merely compare your information to their other research on workarounds vs. purchase?
A: No idea.
SDM: Did you help him figure out how to manage any people or policy fallout they’d suffer when purchasing an external solution?
A: No. But I explained to them why my solution would be best. I suppose there’s some change management they’ll have to do, but they always figure it out.

And, to date, no closed sale.

My colleague assumes he will sell because the prospect called him with a ‘need’ (No, he called for information.) and they spoke several times (Just gathering information to compare options, bring data to meetings, etc). Indeed, unless the buyers hear from everyone who touches a solution, get consensus, compare a workaround against a purchase, and make sure any change issues are handled, they can’t buy. My friend discussed his solution too soon and was out of control.

The sales model handles solution placement – the very last thing buyers do. Using Buying Facilitation® before selling will either eliminate or create a prospect. And you’ll know when/who you will close.

Call me to teach you Buying Facilitation®   to add to what you are already doing successfully. It’s not a sales model but a decision facilitation skill set, and it works with any size solution. Sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com or www.buyingfacilitation.com

What Makes A Prospect A Buyer? is a post from: SharonDrewMorgen.com

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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.