I recently asked a colleague who has written lovingly about Buying Facilitation™ what has stopped him from teaching his folks the model – or actually learning the skills of the model himself.
“I guess I don’t appreciate there is more to learn. My team has read your books, and we apply your model best we can. But I’m not sure we’re getting different results from it.”
SDM: Really? How are you using it?
“Once we get the appointment…”
SDM: Stop. What do you need to get an appointment for?
“To get in front of folks. We need to show them what we’ve got so they understand it. We have to educate our customers so they understand our product and it’s a visual experience.”
SDM: So it seems you’re still using conventional sales thinking and haven’t applied my material….Don’t you get rejected by over 90% of your prospects when they don’t want an appointment? And then, once you’re there, do they buy?
“You certainly hit the nail on the head. Yes, we can’t seem to get as many appointments as we’d like, and then we don’t close as many. But we need to show them what we’ve got and really get in there and understand what they need.”
SDM: How would you know that adding Buying Facilitation™ to the front end before you try to get an appointment or start discussing need or solution would help you get different results? Or get all the right people into your first meeting when you do finally show up? Or increase the number of folks who want to see you by a factor of 3?”
“You can do all that? How? We’ve tried for years.”
SDM: Before I answer I’m curious as to why you have assumed that you’d get the same results using Buying Facilitation™ as you would when using the sales model? And, what would you need to believe differently to consider adding Buying Facilitation™ to the sales process in order to get more prospects and have the Buying Decision Team fully present when you finally do get an appointment?
“I guess I just assumed that all results would be somewhat similar, regardless of the sales technique.”
SDM: Sales only handles needs assessment and solution placement end of the buying decision – the last 10% of what they need to do to resolve a problem. If the buyer’s work-arounds have them comfortable with their status quo, they won’t see a need to take the time to make an appointment with you, and certainly won’t be ready to know how to listen to your pitch even if they do accept an appointment. If I tell you about a great membership deal at a gym before you decide to lose weight or get fit you won’t know what to ask about or how to properly listen to what I’m saying, as I won’t know how it would apply to me until I made the underlying decisions: when will I choose to be fit; how should I change my diet – or can I keep eating what I like; where/how do I fit workouts with my schedule; am I willing to commit to a life change, etc.
Sales enters at the wrong time, and has no capacity to help buyers think through their internal change issues that they must address privately, and often ploddingly, before they can make new decisions or solution choices. I talk about this in my books that you’ve read. So the questions are:
How will you know that adding a new skill to the front end of what you are doing will give you different results?
What would you need to believe differently to be willing to go through the discomfort of making some changes to your habitual sales behaviors? And how would you know, before you begin, that Buying Facilitation™ could actually give you different results?
The sales model is terrific when you are really sell a solution, but useless when it’s time to help buyers navigate through their private issues that take place in meetings or over golf with other managers or when department heads are not getting along. But buyers need to do this anyway or they won’t buy your product.
What do you need to believe differently to be willing to add a new skill to what you’re already doing successfully? And how would you know before you begin that it’s possible to get at least double your success rate by using a new skill?
You may want to answer those questions. There is, indeed, more to learn.