Why do you say this isn’t a sales book if it will help us sell?
Sales is based on placing a solution. And it comes in at the wrong time in the buyer’s decision making. Before they can buy they must figure out all of the people and policies, rules and initiatives that are behind-the-scenes and will be affected by a new solution (which represents change) entering their system. Unfortunately, buyers don’t know the process they’ll have to manage as they begin their search for excellence. So they end up giving us, and operating from, poor data until they figure this all out. The time it takes them to do this is the length of the sales cycle. With a different set of skills, we can help them through this mysterious process.
What are we doing as sellers that keeps us from closing more sales?
Because the sales model itself focuses on placing a solution, and the buyer has to manage their off-line issues internally, we have been unable to assist the buyer at that end of their buying decision. Indeed, by keeping them focused on a solution before they know what sort of internal change issues they need to address, we are delaying the sale.
Can I use this with what I’m doing now?
Because we will be facilitating the internal change management and decision making first, we will then add solution placement skills second. Sales has only managed a very small part of the buying decision – the solution placement end – and we have not been taught an additional skill set that facilitates decisions. The Buying Decision® model is used first – then sales. And your sales will be much much easier as you’ll already be on the Buying Decision Team when it’s time to discuss the solution.
I think I know what buyers are going through because of all of my years in the field– don’t I?
If you knew all that you needed to know, you’d be closing more sales than you’re closing now. You may know what they need – and you are probably correct – but that doesn’t mean the buyer knows how to manage all of the off-line political issues, or vendor issues, or personality issues that need to be addressed to ensure buy-in from the buyer’s end. It’s not so simple as need + solution = excellence. We’ve omitted the entire range of issues buyers must contend with behind-the-scenes.
Why is there so much in the book about systems and change management?
Buyers live in a system, and systems don’t like change. That’s why they have held onto their dysfunction for so long and not sought a solution sooner. The time it takes them to come up with their own internal answers, and get appropriate buy-in, they cannot make a purchase. Dirty Little Secrets explains how systems create and maintain dysfunction, and how to help the system change in a comfortable way, so sellers can enter at this end and actually lead the buyer through their change management. They have to do this anyway – it might as well be with us. And then they’ll be ready to buy, with no competitive issues, no objections, and no price discussions.
Don’t I do this already when I gather information about the buyer’s needs?
Actually, gathering data about needs is the very last thing we should be doing. The buyer can’t fully articulate all of their needs until the whole Buying Decision Team is aboard and adds/subtracts their 2 cents, and discovers their full range of change criteria.One of the problems with the sales model is that it focuses on needs and solution, and ignores the entire off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that buyers need to manage before they can bring in a solution. There is an entirely different skill set necessary to help buyers recognize, align, and manage the internal issues they need to address before their system can change congruently. The internal relationships, old vendor issues, initiative fall-out, politics, departmental issues, budget freezes – all have to be considered, and sales does not address this. Indeed, we sit and wait while buyers do this on their own because we have had no tool kit for it… and this is where we lose our sales. Buying Facilitation® is a change management model that leads buyers through all of their change issues and put them onto the Buying Decision Team from the second call to act as a true guide and neutral navigator. Dirty Little Secrets breaks down the entire change process buyers must go through and gives sellers new tools to help them.
Does Dirty Little Secrets tell me where buyers go when they say “I’ll call you back” and teach me what to do about it?
Dirty Little Secrets explains all of the change issues and the buying decision steps that buyers must address before making a buying decision. It’s the place buyers go on their own, and we’ve not been able to go their with them because they are going inside there system and making decisions that often have nothing whatsoever to do with our solution or their need. The book focuses on the systems that create and maintain a need and how they need to be managed before any change (like resolving a problem) can take place. That’s where buyers are going, and now we can help them. But it’s not sales.