What Makes A Prospect A Buyer?

Buy CycleA colleague recently said he was waiting for a deal to close. How did he know it would close? I asked. “Because someone contacted me, and we’ve had several discussions. In our last chat we discussed price.”

SDM: What percentage of the buying decision team does your prospect represent?
A: There are only 4 people on the team, so 25 per cent.

SDM: Any influencers?
A: I have no idea.
SDM: Where is he along his buy path? Stage 3 where one person does preliminary research? Stage 8 where decision team members choose between an external resource or an internal workaround? Or Stage 11 when they are choosing best solutions?
A: No idea.
SDM: What did your conversations consist of?
A: Explanations about our services and how they could alleviate the problem. I gave him some pitches after understanding their needs.
SDM: Are they still considering a workaround and contacted you to merely compare your information to their other research on workarounds vs. purchase?
A: No idea.
SDM: Did you help him figure out how to manage any people or policy fallout they’d suffer when purchasing an external solution?
A: No. But I explained to them why my solution would be best. I suppose there’s some change management they’ll have to do, but they always figure it out.

And, to date, no closed sale.

My colleague assumes he will sell because the prospect called him with a ‘need’ (No, he called for information.) and they spoke several times (Just gathering information to compare options, bring data to meetings, etc). Indeed, unless the buyers hear from everyone who touches a solution, get consensus, compare a workaround against a purchase, and make sure any change issues are handled, they can’t buy. My friend discussed his solution too soon and was out of control.

The sales model handles solution placement – the very last thing buyers do. Using Buying Facilitation® before selling will either eliminate or create a prospect. And you’ll know when/who you will close.


Sharon-Drew Morgen is the NYTimes Business Bestselling author of Selling with Integrity and 7 books how buyers buy. She is the developer of Buying Facilitation® a decision facilitation model used with sales to help buyers facilitate pre-sales buying decision issues. She is a sales visionary who coined the terms Helping Buyers Buy, Buy Cycle, Buying Decision Patterns, Buy Path in 1985, and has been working with sales/marketing for 30 years to influence buying decisions.

More recently, Morgen is the author of What? Did you really say what I think I heard? in which she has coded how we can hear others without bias or misunderstanding, and why there is a gap between what’s said and what’s heard. She is a trainer, consultant, speaker, and inventor, interested in integrity in all business communication. Her learning tools can be purchased: www.didihearyou.com.
She can be reached at sharondrew@sharondrewmorgen.com:  512-457-0246
www.didihearyou.com ; www.sharondrewmorgen.com

3 thoughts on “What Makes A Prospect A Buyer?”

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