I’m just putting the final touches on my new book which involves writing the text for the back cover, doing final proofs, chasing friends for testimonials. Although I write something every day, and have written hundreds of articles, many books, hundreds of blog posts, it’s not the same as a book. A book has some heft to it – not in terms of size, but in terms of the promise of it. And the time I have to weave my dreams onto pages that will hold them.
I thought I would write a brief sales book that announced my anger at the sales model for being so unruly, for allowing so much failure. So many sales people end up wasting so much time, not to mention buyers not getting what they deserve. I thought that I’d just have a good-old rant for 100 pages or so.
But once I got started, I realized that maybe, just maybe, it was the time to actually share the full range of ideas, theories, rules and learnings that I’ve gleaned over the past 20 years of developing, teaching and writing about Buying Facilitation™. Of course I’ve written many books on it, and they all still sell, but I’ve never systematically collected my theories and thoughts on change, systems, decision making, choice, serving, and sales, and put forth my entire dynamic model that deeply serves buyers AND sellers, and makes sure everyone gets what they need and want. And I’ve never before explained my ideas about the change management that buyers – or anyone – must go through before deciding to resolve a problem.
I teach this on client sites, and use the material in coaching, but I’ve never written it all down. Until now.
Now I guess I have an oeuvre. I feel like I’ve given birth. I don’t have the feeling of joy that I had when I first saw my son when he was born, or the feeling of relief when my other books were finished. This time it’s more of an awe that something so powerful came out of me in spite of (or maybe because of) my limitations.
As I proof and reproof the pages one last time before the book goes to the printer, I find myself surprised that I was actually capable of saying what I deeply believe and know to be true: that underneath any decision that anyone makes, their must be agreement from deep within their ‘system’ or change can’t happen; that information doesn’t teach anyone how to make a new decision; that buyers don’t know what their journey will be when they begin the process of seeking a solution; that sellers cannot be part of the buyer’s off-line decision process; that with a new skill set, sellers can truly serve buyers and get better results.
I put these ideas together with systems thinking and decision making, and turned the book into a microscopic view of change and decision making. I’m proud, and a bit surprised that I actually got it all down in a cogent whole.
While I’ve taught this stuff in classrooms, I’ve not always been willing to say what I believe because I was afraid that I wouldn’t be accepted in my field, that I would lose credibility for saying the Emperor had no clothes. Although I’ve been talking about helping buyers buy for over 20 years, and writing books on decision facilitation and buying decisions since 1992, I have shied away from the hard hitting premise: that the sales model just does not handle much of the buyer’s off-line decision process.
During one of my editing bouts, my editor (who has edited all of my previous books) called me. “I just have one question,” she said. “I don’t understand something. If sales is this inefficient, and sellers spend this sort of time with those sorts of results, why didn’t someone come along and change the model before now? And why has it taken you decades to get them to want to add a new capability?”
There is no answer to those questions, of course. It just takes the time it takes to change a long-held model that’s been around since the serpent convinced Eve to eat the apple. But it’s happening now. Change is happening. And my new book brings the future vision and capability into every sellers hands. Thinking back, it’s quite astonishing to me that I’ve persisted with my viewpoint in the face of almost universal disapproval, knowing that I had an important piece of the puzzle. I think it was Margaret Mead who said that change only needed one (crazy) person with an idea.
So now I can rest. Now I can write my next book about something else. I took everything that was in my head and put it to paper in a way that’s readable, understandable, and interesting. I’ve said exactly what I wanted to say – I’ve held nothing back as I have for decades.
And I’m tired. And complete. Just like when I took a nap after giving birth to my son. In awe of my miracle and the role I played in it, and feeling happy in the accomplishment. And very tired at the effort. And curious as to what it will become.
If you’d like me to write a White Paper for you on understanding the decision issues your buyers face, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out my new book coming out October 15: Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. Read two free chapters. Sign up for presales deals, and announcements. I’ll be doing a webinar on the material close to the launch date, so stay tuned.
Or have a look at my book Buying Facilitation:the new way to sell that inluences and expands decisions. Click here for two free chapters. It will teach you how to understand and manage the route through the internal decision process. Will it help you make a sale? Maybe. Maybe not. But it sure will help you make a client.