12 Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers don’t buy

Do you sit and wait for your buyer’s to close? They need your solution. They like you. They are OK with the price. What’s going on?

Here are the ‘Dirty Little Secrets‘ of why buyers don’t buy, taken from my book of the same name:

  1. Sales focuses on solution placement and needs assessment, and has no skill set to help buyers maneuver through their off-line, personal, idiosyncratic, behind-the-scenes planning and decision making that must take place in their environment before they can buy.
  2. Buyers will make no purchasing decisions until they get buy-in from the components (people, policies, initiatives, groups) that are in any way connected to, or will touch, a solution to their ‘need.’
  3. Until or unless there is buy-in, and the system is ready, willing, and able to buy-in to necessary change, buyers will not accept a solution no matter how great the need.
  4. Buyers live in systems that operate, as all systems do, from the law of homeostasis, and thereby must resist if something new were to threaten disruption. To insure minimal internal disruption, buyers face internal change management issues as they bring in something new (a solution).
  5. Until buyers understand and know how to mitigate the risks that a new solution will bring to their culture, they will do nothing. The system is sacrosanct; homeostasis is more important than fixing a need. New solutions can’t be purchased until a way is found to maintain internal balance. Includes internal politics and relationship issues.
  6. Until all of the Buying Decision Team members have added their voices and fully defined the criteria that a solution must contain, buyers can’t make proper use of solution information (i.e. pitch, presentation).
  7. Sales, and the focus on solutions, enters the buyer’s decision path too early in a buyer’s decision cycle – usually before all of the Buying Decision Team is on board and has added their specific needs to the solution criteria.
  8. Helping buyers maneuver through their buy-in and systems issues require a different focus, and a different skill set, than the one sales offers. Buyers don’t buy using a seller’s selling patterns. And the sales model doesn’t have tools to influence non-solution-related decisions.
  9. Buyers buy on unique, idiosyncratic criteria that are agreed to by their Buying Decision Team – not on the strength of their need, your product, or their relationship.
  10. The type of relationship a seller has with customers/prospects is a buying feature only once the buyer has determine how, when, why, and if they are going to buy.
  11. Buyers seek a solution only after they manage their internal systems issues. Part of their decision/choice is the assurance that the new solution will maintain the ecology of the system.
  12. At the start, buyers don’t know all the issues they need to manage as they begin the process of resolving a problem and choosing a solution.

Your current sales skills do a great job understanding need and placing solutions. But they don’t work with the behind-the-scenes non-solution-related change management issues buyers go through privately.

How will you shift your skills to help buyers manage their buying decision issues?

If you want to help buyers facilitate their off-line, behind-the-skills decision issues, you may want to learn Buying Facilitation® – a set of change management/decision facilitation skills that are wholly different from (but work in tandem with) sales skills, designed to help buyers navigate through their decision path as they prepare to choose a solution. It speeds up their change management process: we sit and wait while they do it anyway.

Add Buying Facilitation® to your sales skills as a facilitation tool, and decrease your sales cycle, find the right prospects to spend time on, and close more sales. Here are some sample chapters to give you more data: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it and Buying Facilitation®: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions.

In today’s business climate, decisions to buy are far more complex than they’ve been in the past, and your selling skills aren’t enough. What would you need to know or believe differently to be willing to add a new skill set to enhance your success?


Sharon-Drew Morgen has been coding and teaching change and choice in sales, coaching, and leadership for over 30 years. She is the developer of Buying Facilitation®, a generic decision facilitation model used in sales, and is the author of the NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell. Sharon-Drew’s book What? Did you really say what I think I heard? has been called a ‘game changer’ in the communication field, and is the first book that explains, and solves, the gap between what’s said and what’s heard.

Her assessments and learning tools that accompany the book have been used by individuals and teams to learn to enter conversations able to hear without filters.

Sharon-Drew is the author of one of the top 10 global sales blogs with 1700+ articles on facilitating buying decisions through enabling buyers to manage their status quo effectively.

She can be reached at sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com or 512 771 1117

4 thoughts on “12 Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers don’t buy”

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