I’ve been writing, teaching and speaking about Buying Facilitation™ for at least 22 years professionally, although I developed the Model and taught clients and staff in the mid 80s while running my tech company in London. I’ve been writing books and articles since the early 90s. And NOW it’s time! Hah. Cool!
Since I’m allowed to get cranky on Cranky Tuesdays, I’m going to let off some steam. Please don’t judge me. I know I’m being bratty, not to mention spiritually ‘wrong’. But hey, it’s my blog.
While exciting that ‘the time’ has now come, and I’m deeply appreciative, I don’t get it. Since it’s now possible for sellers to add a new skill to the front end of what they are doing, and actually help buyers manage those previously untouchable and off-line pre-purchase decision and change management issues, why not do it? Why continue to suffer from extended sales cycles or differentiation issues or needless objections? Are sales so successful that change can’t help? Is it ok to waste that much time on inappropriate prospects, or delayed sales cycles?
Or is it because the sales model expects to only close a small fraction and are getting paid enough to be selling spectacularly less than is possible? I once trained a control group from a major insurance company. When the numbers came in, and my group was to earn SO much more than the others, they broke up the group, placed the Buying Facilitators in amongst the others, and refused to pay them the ‘exorbitant’ amount (They went from 110 visits and 18 closed sales to 27 visits and 25 closed sales, doubling their business in 1/4 the time. Not to mention the savings on the travel.). I guess they didn’t believe me.
In fact, we’ve run control groups for decades in large, global corporations, and consistently show somewhere between 600-800% increase over conventional sales. Yet sales folks think those increases are impossible (and using conventional sales, they are). Why not ask: how are you getting those results and I’m not? What are you doing differently? Can I learn it?
And, yes, everyone can learn Buying Facilitation™. I console myself by telling myself that the right people show up, and that at some point (hopefully before I die or retire) all sales folks will be required to learn Buying Facilitation™ as part of their sales skill set. After all, sales only handles needs assessment and solution placement and has ignored this piece.
Now, after 20 years of using these terms and being ignored or called ‘eccentric’, sellers are talking about buying decisions, buying criteria, buying patterns, and buyer’s buying. The term ‘decision facilitation’ that I coined about a decade ago is now being used all over the place… I spoke with a professor in a business school running a program on Decision Facilitation in Germany last week who said, “We’re defining decision facilitation OUR way and have no reason to speak with you!” and hung up on me. There you have it: What does reality have to do with it?
But people continue to add these terms in service to the SALES model – which is such an incomplete model that it’s painful for me to realize that the failures of sales are just accepted as de rigour, rather than being questioned and change sought.
I know. I know. I know that changing the world is a dark and lonely job – but someone has to do it, right?? And I’ve had great success along the way; I’ve managed to get fat and happy (well, not fat) with enough visionary clients to keep me in the style I’ve become accustomed to. But truly – I want to change the entire field of sales. Nothing small. Just one single profession.
And, of course I have changed the world. Sometimes I forget. Sometime success doesn’t show up the way I want it to. Sometimes people forget and ignore me. Sometimes people steal my stuff. Sometimes I change people’s lives and their businesses. It’s all as it should be – and I’m only the puppet here. But sometimes, just sometimes, when it’s not the way my ego wants it and it doesn’t look the way I ‘planned it’ to look, I want to be cranky and complain. But only on Tuesdays.
For those of you eager to learn, I’m in the middle of developing individual learning modules to make it easy for you to learn, one piece at a time. And if there is anything else you need, just let me know and I’ll create it.