Your prospects aren’t in pain

Man holding his back in painWhen I hear sellers say that buyers have ‘pain’ I ask how long it would take them to get to the hospital with a broken arm. “Immediately.”  Why? Because they’re in pain. But buyers don’t buy ‘immediately’ and have had their problem for a period of time.

If your buyer had pain, they would have fixed the problem already.


Like all of us, buyers live in systems of people and policies, activies and relationships. Everything within the system is there for a reason: stability gets maintained with rules and processes and job descriptions and relationships. When there is a problem that creeps up, the system creates some workarounds so it can continue working; the problem fades into the background and becomes part of the tapestry of the system, until it grows larger.

When we show up and notice a problem, we instantly believe these folks are prospects because it seems like a fit. But we’re not taking into account the system that has accepted the problem and recreates it daily.

Sales acts as if the buyer’s problem were an isolated event. But it’s not. That’s like saying the rash on your arm is an isolated event.

In order for buyers to buy, they need to manage systemic change: they must involve all of the internal managers, department heads, and sundry people who will touch the ultimate solution; without buy-in to change, without designing new rules or roles to manage the change, without replacing the old solution in a way that insures nothing will be severely harmedand equilibrium is maintained, nothing will be purchased.


What will you do differently if you believe that a sale must be more than a solution placement and actually include support during the buyer’s decision journey?

First, put on your Leader hat rather than your Sales hat, and enter the conversation as a detective and help them discover their own clues. What’s keeping them from being willing or able to change? How would they know when it would be worth the effort to go through what’s necessary to achieve excellence? What would they need to know or believe differently in order to be willing to go through the internal disruption process to enhance something that’s already working… well, already working the way it’s working?

Stop trying to assess needs or push a solution. Certainly stop trying to get an appointment until the entire Buying Decision Team is ready for change. Instead, enter as a GPS system to help your prospect walk through the change management issues so they will understand the landscape of change. The Buying Facilitation® process will give you the skills to lead your prospect through this confusion, with you as the true Relationship Manager.

Selling and buying are two different activities. Help buyers recognize how to bring in change so your solution can easily enter and not cause disruption. Buyers don’t need you: they need to solve a business problem. And the business problem involves more of a solution than just your product.

Change the way you are entering. Stop basing your sale on determining if there is a need your solution can resolve. That thinking has only brought you low closing rates and a lot of time wastage. It’s time to help buyer’s buy.


Read two sample chapters of Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

Learn how to help buyer’s buy.

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4 thoughts on “Your prospects aren’t in pain”

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  3. Pingback: You think know your buyer. You don’t. | Sharon-Drew Morgen

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