Why do so many of your good prospects not close? You’ve worked hard doing your sales job: you gathered good data and understood their need, you were a trusted advisor, they liked you and your solution. But they didn’t close.
Where did they go?
They went off-line. They went back to their teammates and their old vendors and their old solutions. They decided not to resolve the problem now. A new partner showed up with a fix that kinda resolved the problem. They decide to hire a new staff person with the funds.
In fact, you have no idea where the prospect went.
But I’ll tell you: They went to that place where you can’t go, to that private, off-line place that sales doesn’t give you skills for.
But it’s not your fault.
SALES ONLY MANAGES A SLIVER OF A BUYING DECISION
Sales is a solution placement model. Everything you do in your job, everything you say, every problem you have, every objection you handle, is based on that one factor. In fact, the model of sales – whether you use Sandler or SPIN, Richardson or Khalsa – is based on finding a need and getting the folks with the need to choose your solution to resolve it.
Problem is that buyers don’t buy the way you sell. And sales merely manages a tiny sliver of a buyer’s buying decision – that very last piece that is ready to choose a solution. That’s right: sales enters far too early in a buying decision, and buyers have to go back – after they’ve already met you – and manage the off-line stuff on their own.
And sales ignores all of that – the subjective, internal, private place where buyers go. Sales doesn’t sit at the table when your prospect is at a meeting about next year’s inititives. Sales doesn’t give you the skills to help your prospect talk with the new business partner who shows up with a partial solution and cuts you out of the picture. Sales doesn’t help you convince the tech team that they cannot resolve the problem the way you do. Sales will give you the tools to present your solution effectively, but not manage the fight between your client and the Board.
So you sit and wait, and hope that the buyer comes back after they’ve said the magic words: I’ll Call You Back.
That’s right. You sit and hope. Because you have no control over it. Because sales doesn’t handle that end of the buying decision.
I’ve developed a decision facilitation model that is NOT SALES but offers sellers a new set of skills to help buyers maneuver through their off-line buy-in issues. It’s a change management tool. It’s NOT SALES. But it teaches buyers how to get the approval they need, how to get the boss to free up the budget, how to have the tech team bring you in to work with them. And it closes the sales cycle time in half.
The time it takes buyers to come up with their own answers is the length of the sales cycle. They need to do this anyway. Frankly, they don’t have the skills to do it efficiently because it’s an unknown for them. They need your help.
You can help them. But you have to be willing to add a new skill set to sales. And once you have helped the buyer figure out the internal politics, and the management issues, and the partner relationships, and they know how and why and when they are ready to buy and have all of the necessary people on their buying decision team, THEN you can sell!
Did I peak your interest? I have a new book coming out on this in September. Stay tuned! I bet between us we can really make a difference and change the sales model to include this other piece.
If you’d like me to write a White Paper for you on understanding the decision issues your buyers face, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or have a look at my book Buying Facilitation:the new way to sell that inluences and expands decisions. Click here for two free chapters. It will teach you how to understand and manage the route through the internal decision process. Will it help you make a sale? Maybe. Maybe not. But it sure will help you make a client.