Sales has done a fine job of needs assessment and solution placement. But the focus on placing solution is not as relevant as it once was as buyers show up knowing more than we do. I even know of on-line capability being developed as we speak that will replicate questions that sellers ask, on line.
As we continue designing web capability to do the needs analysis and solution placement that we have been doing ourselves, we are actually making our jobs irrelevant.
So what, exactly, will our jobs be? I don’t think we’re going to go back to the good old days when we sat down for coffee with every prospect to explain our value proposition. And the internet isn’t going away.
We’ve gotta change our jobs and become relevant.
DO YOU HAVE THE SKILLS TO HELP BUYERS INFLUENCE THEIR BUYING DECISION TEAMS?
What will influence buyers? What is their real problem? No – not the problem your solution can resolove. I mean their REAL problem. Because if their real problem were as simple as buying our solution, they would have done that already.
Buyers are having a hard time getting buying decisions made:
- They have more stakeholders on the buying decision team than they’ve had historically.
- There are economic issues to contend with: they don’t even know IF they can buy now, let alone WHAT they want to buy.
- There are internal politics at play about spending money or making changes.
- Everyone on the Buying Decision Team is playing around with possibilities on the net and may have different ideas about how to resolve a problem.
I believe that our current sales model of solution placement and needs analysis, combined with all of the capability now available to buyers on the net (which in many cases co-opts our jobs), is making our jobs (as they have been until now) irrelevant.
It’s time to move our focus away from providing solutions to providing buyers help with their journey through their behind-the-scenes decisions (not necessarily sales- or solution-related) so they can get the buy-in necessary to make a purchase. Is this sales? No, it’s Buying Facilitation™. Is it a selling model? No, it’s a navigation model that works with the change management issues buyers must contend with before, during, and after they bring in a new solution. But it’s an add on: the skills sit comfortably on the front end of your sales skills. And it’s certainly going to help you close a lot more sales – and you’ll never have to sit and wait for buyers to call as you’ll be on the Buying Decision Team.
Today I’m offering my first of 3 podcasts on The New Buying Decision Journey: Keeping Sellers Relevant. Here is the first podcast on the subject. Enjoy. And please, feel free to pass this on to friends and colleagues. Here is some reading material from Dirty Little Secrets to show you what the new skills would look like.
As adjunct material to use with the podcast series, you may want to purchase my newest book Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it, or have a look at my learning modules.
Enjoy. It’s time to change. Are you ready? Your buyers already have. You have too much knowledge and too much care and respect for buyers to be made irrelevant. Let’s add a new skill set to close sales.
Once you finish podcast one, check out podcast 2: The Buyer’s Buying Journey.
For those wishing to study with me, I run corporate Buying Facilitation™ programs. I’m offering a unique public program in Boston, September 20-22.