The initial decision you are going to have to make is whether or not you want to offer your client base the full range of Buying Facilitation™ skills or a subset of those skills. The difference is vast in regards to your potential audience, your marketing activities, and your training approach in general. It is vital to understand that the premises behind the Buying Facilitation™ model are generally not understood by mainstream buyers, and therefore demand a different marketing strategy. Note that a subset of the model, now available in a shorter mainstream version, can be easily positioned for a mainstream audience.
Buying Facilitation™ is a visionary model. It does not manage the sales end of the selling/buying equation but teaches the buyer how to recognize, align, and manage all of the internal elements that must be addressed prior to making a buying decision.
Until now, Buying Facilitation™ has been sold in the visionary end of the Sales Training spectrum. I have recently designed a mainstream training program that can be taught to mainstream salespeople. But the decision must be made whether you want to sell and train into the visionary market or the mainstream market. I will attempt to show you the differences between the markets, the training programs, and the trainer training to help you decide.
Audience: Conventional sellers
Core belief: Selling is controlled by the sales process, the strength of the product and price point. This is program is for sellers who believe they have some control over the buying process and want to learn new tools to help them ‘get into the buyers heads’.
Program: 2 days, behavior based, with exercises that help the learner understand how buyers buy and offers 4 powerful Facilitative Questions (FQ) that will help the buyer decide in favor of the seller. Click here for the program syllabus.
The learner walks away with a pocketful of takeaways to add to how they sell. Most graduates will walk away with an entirely new set of skills in re understanding exactly the inner workings of the buyer’s buying decisions at a systemic level. This includes how their relationships, history, politics, rules, behaviors, reporting structure, and decisions need to be managed before change can happen. It deals with information that has not been available before for sellers, and because it codes the information at a systems level, it works across contexts.
As a result, participants will walk away with the ability to probe more deeply as to what the buyer needs to do to make a buying decision and potentially understand where the seller will fit into the equation. At the same time, the seller will be placed in the realm of a Trusted Advisor, as they follow the buyer through their decision process. Sellers will experience at least a 20% increase in sales due to the ability to enter the buyer’s world more effectively.
Price point: Slightly higher than other mainstream programs.
Audience: The sales people who work with visionary and/or early adopter managers.
Core belief: Buying is a complex, unique, and idiosyncratic process that must be managed internally by buyers. Learners learn a facilitative questioning system that leads buyers through the full range of decisions that must be addressed prior to a buying decision.
3 days of intense learning, with 8 weeks of skills-based follow up. This is a learning environment not a training environment. Learners decide how they sell now, what works, what doesn’t work, what they need to change, and the beliefs they need to manage differently so they can add something new to what they are doing. This program leads learners through the same decision and change process that they will use as sellers, when leading buyers through their decision process. Click here to read the syllabus.
Powerful. Long lasting. Life changing. Spiritual/ethical. Complex.
Outcome: The learner walks away with ability to:
- Listen for systems and patterns
- Lead buyer through entire range of systems elements that have created and maintain the status quo
- Teach buyer how to manage internal change to make room for something new
- Put him/herself on the same side as the buyer
- Formulate Facilitative Questions
- Move between Self and Observer so s/he can determine what is working and what needs to shift in their communication
Most graduates experience 200-600% increase in sales within 8 weeks of program.
Price point: anywhere from double to quadruple mainstream training.
Markets: Selling into a Mainstream audience is very different from selling to a Visionary. Here are some questions to ask yourself so you can decide which program would work for your client base…
Who are you planning on marketing to?
It’s necessary to use different methodologies when selling either to a mainstream buyer or a visionary buyer, because visionaries do not buy with mainstream sales approaches.
If you’re selling the mainstream product to a mainstream audience, you will be positioned according to your competition and hear the normal objections you will hear when selling training. You’ll have to manage price, relevance, need, and comparisons with other programs. Right now, the program is a Facilitating Buying Decisions program, and can easily be re-designed, but you will still need to manage objections as part of the conventional sales cycle.
If you attempt to sell the visionary program to a mainstream buyer without using the model itself to sell with, you will hear: I already do that; that’s old; everyone knows you’re supposed to ask questions; we don’t have the money; I know my clients and know how they buy; we’ve done consultative sales training, and this sounds similar; what’s different about this from consultative selling, how much is the program, etc. Pushing data at a mainstream person leads to comparisons with other mainstream methods and they play ‘I doubt you.’
If you are selling the visionary product to a visionary buyer (easiest route), you’ll most likely need coaching from me if you haven’t yet taken the 3-day, since you’ll have to use the Funnel ON them to help them decide. The good news is that they decide very very quickly, with no objections (this, too, models how all buyers buy when the BF method is used). You’ll hear: Helping buyer’s buy! Cool! I knew there was something missing!
Visionaries don’t discuss price until they are signing a contract. If you push data at them they will walk away – everyone pushes data at them and visionaries don’t buy that way: they don’t believe it, they don’t believe the person, and they don’t listen for it.
What is your outcome?
- You want to offer a range of programs to your client base (and use both visionary and mainstream programs) or one
- You want to add Buying Facilitation™ to other sales models you already teach or have it stand alone as the only sales model you’re offering
- You want to use the model and skills in Buying Facilitation™ as a front end to other training programs
- You would like to have a program designed specifically for you
Are you willing to put the time in to study with Sharon Drew to learn the complete skill set or do you want to learn a simple program to offer to mainstream?
There is a vast difference in the amount of learning trainers need to get under their belt as they get ready to train either of the programs.
If you’ve decided on the 2-day mainstream program, the base line question is: do you want to have your trainers learn the entire BF model to enhance their delivery, or do you want them to just stand up and deliver the 2 day program?
For the complete BF program, it takes a dedicated effort to learn the material, and it will take a couple of weeks of practice before the trainer is ready to deliver it. That said, once the trainer knows the skills of BF, they will be able to use the material in any collaboration model – negotiation skills, coaching, supervision, management, change management, team building, presentation skills. Once learned, the skills included in the BF model can be used as an add-on to many types of training offerings, as well as a sales tool for your own company.
Train the Trainer training (T3) for the mainstream program depends on whether or not you want your trainers to learn how to do the BF Method. If you want them to just deliver the training, T3 takes 3-4 days depending on how many trainers. It’s simple, and easy to administer. Competes well.
Buying Facilitation™ program
Before Train the Trainer training can be taken, trainers will need to take the Buying Facilitation™ program 2 times. The program itself is easy enough to administer (a lot of self-learning exercises) but the material is complex (a new way to listen means you must listen to the learners differently, for example).
- Stage One: take the Buying Facilitation™ program 2 times.
- Stage Two: Train the Trainer training 4-5 days with Sharon Drew Morgen.
- Stage Three: 3-day co-training with Sharon Drew Morgen (once or twice)
If you decide on the entire Buying Facilitation™ program, the first issue we must face is: how will you get the 3-day program under your belt twice? Here are some thoughts:
- Put on a public training. Call prospects or clients you already know. Use the Model In Action questions. You can get several companies to send 2 or 3 people and follow them up. Those who do well will want you to come in and do a pilot.
- Get clients to run an in-house pilot or two. SDM would run the first two of the in-house programs, with you as a participant. This will give you the required two-takes of the 3-day program. Then you will be ready for T3 – possibly with one or two trainers from a client’s site. By this time you’d be ready for SDM to do co-training with you.
Obviously the BF model is much more difficult to train and sell (you need to find visionaries and visionary buyers can’t be reached by conventional marketing. The decision must be made if you believe in the model, that sales needs to change, that the collaborative decision-making skills are better than conventional sales models, and, most importantly, that BF is a model that moves into the future).
Until now we’ve been using the baseline model that Dale Carnegie taught us. But as the world shifts, as it’s recognized that the sales process is taking too long and using too much resource, and that the decision rests on the decision team more than the efficacy of the product, BF is the next sales model and will be used over the next century. We’re at early days here; if you add the BF material to your client offerings, you’ll be seen as being innovative, revolutionary, and teaching the very latest model. The downside is it will take you longer to learn to train than other material.