Sales is resistant to change

Think about this: Dale Carnegie is the father of the current selling model. Why would I say that when there are such ‘new’ models as Permission Marketing, or SPIN, or any of the myriad selling techniques that have come along since 1937 when Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People? Why would I believe this when the internet has become such a powerful force in sales?

Because we continue (against any rational measure) to focus ‘sales’ on solution placement (yes, yes, that includes uncovering needs and understanding buyers) when we have all of the data we need to understand that 1. we close a small fraction of our prospects; 2. we waste a huge amount of time for the relative success we get; 3. buyers who need our solutions do not necessarily buy.


Yup. With all of the new bells and whistles, the new funnels and influencing models and questioning models, the percentages we close remains the same as it did decades ago. And we actually throw away prospects we can be closing because we don’t have an additional skill set.

I recently spoke with Graham Yemm, a man in the UK who has been talking about the buying side of the seller/buyer equation for about 20 years. How are people there accepting his ideas? Slowly, he said. That’s a sad commentary on sales.

When I train folks in Buying Facilitation™ and we get 200, 500, or 900% increases over our control groups that are using the group’s regular sales models, we get told that we cheated, that it’s not possible. And, I agree: using conventional sales you cannot get any more than a 30% overage when you use questions optimally (this number comes to you from my friend Neil Rackham).

But that resistance and doubt is based on the sales model. And sales merely handles the need/solution part of the buying decision – the very very last thing that the buyer does.

What sales totally ignores is that the ‘need’ sits in a system that not only has created the ‘problem/pain,’  but maintains it daily. The buyer’s problem is actually part of their daily operations (those of you who understand technology know that you cannot just pull one line of code and replace it with something different without affecting the rest of the system, without somehow addressing other lines of code). In other words, nothing exists on its own. And sales does not address the intricate, intimate issues that must  be shifted in order for something new to come in.


Sales treats the problem as if it were an isolated event, not realizing that it is one of a myriad of things that work together to keep the company (or any environment you are selling into) going along comfortably.

Sales doesn’t handle the change management issues buyers must go through before bringing in a new solution. Imagine serving your family a raw food dinner, and telling them at the meal that from now on all of their food will have to be raw. Imagine coming in to work and telling your team that tomorrow you’re going to be transferring everyone to a different location 2 hours away.

Of course you can’t do either of these things: there is a system – a set of givens, of rules and expectations – that everyone operates from, and when something is going to be changed, the system must have time to regroup, rethink, reconsider, and buy-in to the change or the change will be sabotaged. It’s the same with any new solution a buyer brings in.

Sales skills include gathering information, understanding need (as much as it’s possible to understand a problem from outside the system and asking biased questions), introducing and placing solutions, and managing the sales process issues (objections, closing, etc) that occur because the sales process ignores the systems issues.

Think about it. You know this is true, yet you are comfortable doing what you’re doing and don’t want to change. I have some Facilitative Questions for you:

How would you know when it’s time to add another set of skills to what you’re already doing?

What would you need to know/understand/believe differently to recognize that buyers must manage their private, internal change issues before they can buy, and sales doesn’t address this?

What would you need to know about Buying Facilitation™ to know if it would fit on top of what you are doing now and help you be successful?

What would you need to believe to recognize that it is indeed possible to double or triple your sales by adding a decision facilitation skill to what you are doing?

What would you need to see to believe that you could close a lot more sales a lot faster if you had the skills to help them manage the internal decision issues they must address before they can buyer?

Get ahold of my new book Dirty Little Secrets and it will explain all of this for you. Or keep doing what you’re doing if you are happy with your results.


For those of you who are interested in learning about book publishing, go to my new site:

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