The sales model has taught you to uncover needs – to really, really understand needs – so you recognize who is a good prospect and know the right way to pitch to that person. You finely hone your probing and questioning skills. You learn to hear a need from a mile off. You teach your staff to have great care and concern for a prospect’s problems. And you are almost willing to let go of a prospect if their ‘need’ doesn’t fit your solution.
What does all this activity get you? A 7% close rate. IMHO, that is ‘not working’.
So why are you still entering a sale that way? Why is that still your focus? When I asked someone that question recently he said, “Because it’s the only way I know how to sell.”
HOW DO YOU BUY?
Think about a situation you’re involved with in terms of how you decide to make a purchase. At what point do you need the solution data? And, where/how does the solution data fit in with the range of other decisions that must get made before you can buy?
If your spouse doesn’t want to spend the money for a new TV, do you need data about the latest styles?
If you cannot work out because you’re ill, do you need data about the new gym?
If you and your spouse can’t decide on where to move, does learning about the ‘perfect house’ available around the corner make sense?
Until or unless you recognize and manage all of the off-line, back-end, behind-the-scenes decision issues you must address prior to choosing to change their status quo, you will do nothing. Nothing.
And that’s why your prospects aren’t closing.
DECISIONS AND BUY-IN FIRST, SOLUTIONS LAST
The very last thing a buyer does is choose a vendor and solution. Before they do, they must:
- Get the entire Buying Decision Team on board – every person and every department that will touch the solution.
- Get buy-in for change from every person and every department – and a route forward through the status quo so there will be minimal disruption.
- Strategize the implementation of the new solution to mix the old with the new in an easy, simple way that everyone buys in to.
Sales does not manage this. SEO does not manage this. Marketing automation does not manage this. Sandler, Consultative Selling, Question Based Selling, Relational Selling, Target Accounts Selling, SPIN Selling – etc – are all focused on uncovering the need and managing the objections that buyers give when feeling pushed. And none of them – none – help manage the back-end, private journey buyers take before they can buy. And you close 7% of your prospects because their final purchasing decision is not based on their need, or your solution, but how well the internal buy-in issues are managed.
You sit and wait for buyers to do this. Why not start the conversation by helping them figure out how to manage change? Why not be a true Trusted Advisor and help the buyer figure out how to shift into excellence – and get the requisite buy-in?
Your solution is the very last thing the buyer needs. You can either sit and wait for 7% of them to show up (or 1% of them using marketing automation), or you can be a GPS system to help the buyer navigate through their internal craziness so they can design a route to change. But sales won’t get you there as it is a needs assessment-solution placement model.
Do you want to sell? Or have someone buy. If you want to have someone buy, you must enter the call with a totally different skill set and goal. Have a look at Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it and see how to enter to serve a decision rather than sell a solution. And THEN you can place your solution – at least 400% more often.
That’s right: Buying Facilitation™ helps buyers make their off-line decisions, bring everyone and everything together quickly (you can get the entire Buying Decision Team together on the first call), and help them manage the change your solution would bring.
To learn the decision facilitation model, take a look at: