Home > Consumer Behavior > When Does A Buyer Buy? - Sharon Drew Morgen

When Does A Buyer Buy? - Sharon Drew Morgen

In Sharon Drew Morgen's blog today was a post titled, "When Does A Buyer Buy?" In that blog post Sharon Drew wrote,
... Think about any extra weight you might have, or your inability to stop smoking, or your reluctance to work out as much as you know you should, or eat healthier. You’ve been talking about managing those issues for…for how long?? SOOO why aren’t you? You have the need, right? You have the “pain,” right? What’s the deal?

You will change – just like your buyer – when the system you live in (your work hours, your family issues, your identity and ego issues) is willing to be or do something different. Having a great gym near-by, having great clothes a size smaller, having a doc tell you you must shape up – none of those things are enough to get you to change (or you would have).

Unfortunately, sales only manages the need/solution part of a buyer’s buying decision, and has no tool kit to help the buyer recognize and manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that must be addressed before the system is willing to make a change. Is the other department ready to bring in a new X? What about the old vendor? How will the team know how to choose between resolving This problem or That?

Sales doesn’t manage those issues. But decision facilitation does...
If you get the chance, read Sharon Drew's post and then come back and share your thoughts on what you believe she is saying and whether or not you believe that sales doesn't manage those issues. Thanks! thmbp2; - by Jeff Blackwell
Let's see... how many weight sets, how many treadmills, how many bowflexes have been sold and collect dust? There is desire to do the things that these machines are capable of producing, and once bought, they "satisfy" the impulse.

I'm gonna have to think about this a lot more to make sense... but this is my initial thought.

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
With regard to "Sales doesn’t manage those issues. But decision facilitation does... ", I sell; I "manage" those issues. I see the distinction, but in so doing, I see no reason to isolate either.

Rather than define what selling is and is not, focusing on the meaning of "manage" might be more helpful. If it means identifying the areas of resistance (internal or external) and resolving those issues, it makes sense to me.

Probing, engaging, questioning, listening, researching--these are all selling disciplines. Step deeper into those disciplines and I guess you could call it decision facilitation if you really needed to. - by Ace Coldiron
I believe Sharon Drew is shining a light on an area that doesn't receive enough attention which is too bad considering the potential loss of revenue and protracted sales cycles. That area is the behind the scenes decisions that buyers have to make on their own which the salesperson isn't privy to and sales doesn't address.

Sharon Drew has a new book coming out on Oct. 1, 2009 titled,
"Dirty Little Secrets - why buyers can't buy and sellers can't sell and what you can do about it."
That book covers this topic in detail with real life examples. - by Jeff Blackwell
Managing (or helping your client manage) the behind-the-scenes decision-making process is vitally important - and I'm going to look out with interest to see if Sharon can shed some new light in this area, because it is a challenging one.

But to suggest that "Unfortunately, sales only manages the need/solution part of a buyer’s buying decision, and has no tool kit to help the buyer recognize and manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that must be addressed before the system is willing to make a change" is pure nonsense.

Good salespeople have been doing this for years. Writers have been writing about it for decades - from Rackham to Miller & Heiman.

Maybe not in the way Sharon is about to - I haven't read the new book, so I can't know. But explicitly addressing client decision-making processes and the organisational system surrounding them is hardly a new thing.

This type of "renaming something" and then claiming no one has ever thought of it before isn't the type of promotional strategy that turns me on to a new book. Quite the opposite. And I don't think it's helpful for the profession either. You simply end up labelling good sales practices with a myriad of new names, and bad, old practices as "sales".

Ian - by ianbrodie
This type of "renaming something" and then claiming no one has ever thought of it before isn't the type of promotional strategy that turns me on to a new book. Quite the opposite. And I don't think it's helpful for the profession either. You simply end up labelling good sales practices with a myriad of new names, and bad, old practices as "sales".
Thank you too Ian for participating in this thread.

I am also of the opinion that "renaming something" as you described is neither an effective promotional strategy nor helpful to the profession. I believe once you see what Sharon Drew is bringing into the light you will agree that this is not "renaming something" and that writers - from Rackham to Miller & Heiman - have not been writing about this for years. - by Jeff Blackwell
I believe you can find a "behind the scenes issue" behind a "behind the scene issue" ad infinitum. The topic's question asks "When..".

That would imply that there is a specific point of uncovery at which a buyer would have no remaining issues, nor would internal circumstances provide such issues, to obstruct a purchase. I believe that implication would be correct.

It would also imply a methodology exists to locate and act on that specific point where although other issues exist, they would not obstruct the purchase. Call it the "sweet spot" if you will. I believe that implication would be correct also.

At this point of the discussion, and having read Sharon Drew's post, I can't differentiate anything as new. Effective and successful salespeople have been hitting the sweet spot since sales began.

Perhaps when we reach a further point in the discussion, the differentia will reveal itself. Right now I'm seeing the sameness. - by Ace Coldiron
Perhaps when we reach a further point in the discussion, the differentia will reveal itself.
We can give it a try. thmbp2;

Let's go back to Sharon Drew's post, stay in the context of that post and try to make a distinction or see if this isn't really all that new. It might help to break that post down into chunks.

... Think about any extra weight you might have, or your inability to stop smoking, or your reluctance to work out as much as you know you should, or eat healthier. You’ve been talking about managing those issues for…for how long?? SOOO why aren’t you? You have the need, right? You have the “pain,” right? What’s the deal?
It seems to me that there is something conscious, subconscious or both holding this person back from managing those issues for so long. Do you see it that way too?

Can anyone name a sales process/method that helps people navigate and manage those conscious/subconscious issues?

If your suggestion will be "Questions" please be specific about the questions and questioning process a salesperson would use to facilitate these issues.

You will change – just like your buyer – when the system you live in (your work hours, your family issues, your identity and ego issues) is willing to be or do something different. Having a great gym near-by, having great clothes a size smaller, having a doc tell you you must shape up – none of those things are enough to get you to change (or you would have).
This example shows in my opinion how strong emotional and logical reasons for change can be present yet people won't make a change until they are ready.[/quote]

Can anyone name a sales process/method that helps people identify and resolve the conscious/subconscious issues that need to be resolved before they will be ready to make a change?

If your suggestion will be "Questions" please be specific about the questions and questioning process a salesperson would use to help the other person identify and resolve the conscious/subconscious issues that need to be resolved before they will be ready to make a change.
Unfortunately, sales only manages the need/solution part of a buyer’s buying decision, and has no tool kit to help the buyer recognize and manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that must be addressed before the system is willing to make a change.
I believe what Sharon Drew is referring to here is how sales focuses on the identified problem, ie; need/solution, failing to address the forces that created and hold the identified problem in place. Is that how you see it too? - by Jeff Blackwell
I believe what Sharon Drew is referring to here is how sales focuses on the identified problem, ie; need/solution, failing to address the forces that created and hold the identified problem in place. Is that how you see it too?
Yes, I interpret her in that way also.

I don't quite see it the same way.

That which we call "Sales" can encompass addressing the forces that created and hold the identified problem in place, even if such force is purely Inertia. I personally believe it is part of sales.

There are those IN sales that do address those forces. The majority does not. If Sharon Drew is championing the learning, through awareness, of ways to deal with those forces in an effort to create a greater percentage of people with those skills, that's a good thing.

If, on the other hand, she is proclaiming that all of this is new, and that ALL salespeople have missed the boat on this topic, I would view that as a flawed premise.

One might look at sales and ask "What's missing?" A better question might be "What's missing among the unsuccessful that is not missing among the successful?"

Back to the analagy of the person who should lose weight:

Conventional thinking seems to suggest that we should have a series of "questions" based on what we know, all plotted out. But it's what we don't know that will bring us closer to a solution we can act upon. The key is to start with ONE real question. An example would be: "Is it possible that you really don't WANT to lose weight?"

Conventional thinking might say I need a follow up question, all prepared. I do NOT. I want to HEAR the person's answer. Call it engagement--not a "methodology" or a "process."

And the questions and answers and closure that follow will come from the present unknown.

In selling, it is a rewarding adventure. - by Ace Coldiron
Hi Ace. ;sm

When reading Sharon Drew's post I get the impression that she is referrencing sales processes not sales people. Which sales process in your opinion closest resembles Sharon Drew's "Buying Facilitation(R)" model which to my understanding teaches a salesperson how to help the buyer recognize and manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that must be addressed before the system is willing to make a change? - by Jeff Blackwell
Ok.... Bottom line, I'm a moron. I have to admit I'm not of the educated elite. I don't understand that stuff, and I'm not going to spend endless hours trying to get to my understanding. I, me, and my son it turns out, need simple. This is not simple TO ME. It might be simple to you all here, and I wonder how the heck I've managed to survive in this business.

Lets start with her comment... "Let me say something you’re not going to like: If a buyer truly needed your solution they would have either bought it already or resolved their problem already."

By itself, this statement to me is ABSURD!.

This Blog was a very painful read for me and so consequently her book is , as they say, DEAD TO ME.

You have to read her blog to get to the issue she brings up, which is, we don't control the client or their environment. Because of this, sales doesn't work.

She says, "Buyers will buy when the team buys-in to adding something new and getting rid of the old, when it’s clear the regular vendor can’t do the fix, when the other departments know how they are going to work alongside of the new solution. Sales doesn’t handle these issues, causing us to wait forever for buyers to decide, or to lose really good prospects that seemed a good fit."

Prior to this comment, she says "Sales doesn’t manage those issues. But decision facilitation does: Buying Facilitation® is a change management, decision facilitation model that is NOT SALES but is a model sellers can use to help buyers recognize and manage their internal issues in order to insure buy-in for change. Just like you won’t lose weight, or work out more, or eat healthier unless you have internal buy-in (we don’t make decisions to change based on good data, or someone else’s opinion), so buyers won’t buy until they know that their system will remain intact and healthy after the addition of the new solution."

I accept and reject this at the same time. Yes we need to buy in to working out, but on the other hand why are there so many bowflexes and other machines collecting dust in living rooms? People buy dreams, but don't always follow through on the dream. I'd venture to say that this is the situation for many many sales. You don't buy a drill, you buy the hole, I've heard over and over, and that is probably true. But once you've bought that drill, how often do you use it? How often do you use that pressure washer, the spray gun, the airtank, that table saw... True it's there when you need it, that is why you buy permanent life insurance, or disability coverage.

I'm not pretending to understand her. I'm not pretending that my response is even a valid one. I'm just offering my perspective. On the one hand, I personally disagree that we don't manage decisions as sales people. Unless I'm misreading, I help manage decisions with EVERY Business owner for Worksite Sales. We have tax issues, payroll issues, we have worksite enrollment/logistics issues, that all have to be "managed" and I'm sure that selling xerox machines involve the same issues. So, I'm not "buying in" to what she says.... unless I misunderstand, and if that is the case, I'm not buying in either because I don't understand and misunderstood... that is her fault... never mind that I'm retarded.

Aloha... :cool: - by rattus58
Which sales process in your opinion closest resembles Sharon Drew's "Buying Facilitation(R)" model which to my understanding teaches a salesperson how to help the buyer recognize and manage the off-line, behind-the-scenes issues that must be addressed before the system is willing to make a change?
I know of no model that does as you specifically phrase your question. However, High Probability Selling, provides one of the most important tools towards that end, which they call the Trust and Respect Inquiry. In addition, although not necessarily considered a "model", author Frank Bettger, dating back over 60 years, addressed the hidden concerns and provided simple tools to wade through them.

In the non-selling arena, author Debbie Ford has addressed the nature of what she calls "underlying commitments", which influence our behavour and actions and reluctance to act.

I don't call what I do a "model" but I see no difference in these discussions with what I do and what is being discussed. I could name others close to me who I could say the same about.

In all honesty, I don't see the complexity. Sharon Drew once described her model as a wholly new paradigm and a reinvention of sales (through collaboration, respect, and serving). But I can bear witness personally that it is neither a new paradigm or reinvention..

Removing the implied newness does NOT take away its value to others who have not achieved that level. To me it only enhances it. And my hat is off to Sharon Drew for creating a fresh awareness on the topic. - by Ace Coldiron
Hi Rattus. :)

Prior to reading Sharon Drew's latest book I admit that I too felt like I wasn't getting it - no light bulbs were going off. I will also admit that reading and comprehending the material, previous and current, on Sharon Drew's Buying Facilitation(R) model hasn't been a walk in the park for me.

Having come out the other side however I can say with conviction that the time and attention I have invested in my current level of understanding the Buying Facilitation(R) model has been more than worth it and now there is no going back.

After +20 years of focused and consistent effort of turning over stones in the field of sales I am uniquely qualified to suggest that Sharon Drew is on to something with her Buying Facilitation(R) model.

Recently I told Sharon Drew that I had one word to say about the book... disturbing.
“This book will be disturbing to the industry because you’ve pulled back the veil and we can’t go back to the old way of just selling a solution any more. Your book teaches us how buying decisions are made. This understanding has been missing from the industry for so long. From this point forward, anyone who talks about sales has to mention this – it’s too big to push under the rug. The book is crystal clear, easy to understand, and right there for anyone to see. The book is sophisticated, but necessary for any serious sales professional. Once sellers read this, they are toast.”
http://sharondrewmorgen.com/2009/08/a-disturbing-book/ - by Jeff Blackwell
I am always open to new perspectives. Everything we do to get a customer to buy involves addressing opportunity for gain and/or fear of loss. I will use any training ideas that come my way to help my sales associates get that message....repackaged or not, after all, that's why I'm here. - by tmiller
Hi Jeff... :)

While I haven't read this book, how does this differ from Strategic selling, Action Selling, Hopkins, and even Brian Tracy? I don't know, obviously, but all of these authors and stategies involve the "decision makers". Now I'm not involved in really sophisticated sales, from my perspective anyway, and maybe these "strategies" she speaks that are not sales may be important.

But what is NOT SALES, I might ask? She mentions a host of obstacles, and I'm to ask, if there is an obstacle, what salesman is not going to approach that obstacle independantly as they would collectively when you're dealing with just one or two people? The neophyte sales person, you say.

I am a flight instructor. I would venture to you, could you teach someone to fly a 747 or Airbus or DC10 or Lear Jet from scratch? The answer is yes. Is it the normal way? No.. Does a hamburger flipper need to go to culinary arts school? Would it help him? Yes, is it necessary though?

I am wondering if that the situations that Buying Facilitation(R) would be helpful to me would in essence be intellectual rather than educational, the distinction being intellectual being cerebral, educational being working knowledge. What I mean, and you can answer this better than I can assume, sitting across the table from a young family, is this going to give me the tools help them with an insurance purchase that I'm not already equipped with?

Where will this book, this knowledge take me from where i already am? Tom Hopkins, I remember, took a family with a baby to the Developer to close the deal. Large Real Estate Deals demand coordination. Architectual changes demand coordination? How does buying facilitation modify these aspects of complex sales or is she pointing this stuff out to those of us that don't in our routine have to contend with these scenarios, because for the life of me, I cannot fathom anyone involved in complex sales not being aware of the concepts in practice.

Eskimos have 11 or more different words for snow. Is this an expansion of the descriptions or just identifying whats already there?

Much Aloha... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
Sharon wants us to buy her book. She tells us that WE need to overcome OUR resistance change in order to buy her book. So Sharon is telling us to buy her book without going through a conscious "buying process". Doesn't this go against the whole premise of her book? Aligning your sales cycle to the buying cycle is not new. There ARE support tools out there. In fact, I was using a "Business Tracking System" in the mid-eighties that helped to align my company's sales process with our customers' buying cycle. For a New Business sale, we defined the following 10 stages of a typical customer's Buying cycle...

1) Interest generated - e.g. deciding to review a possible productivity enhancement
2) Project agreed - Decision maker approves decison to investigate your product offering
3) Fact finding - involving key staff in product presentations, reference visits etc.
4) Cost justification - level of improvement satisfies the criteria for change to take place
5) Prospect status - Decides to include you as a prospective supplier with a set timescale and the basis of decision is communicated to potential suppliers
6) Effort involved - Assessing effort invoved to ensure the new service produces desired benefits
7) Matching proposals - Matching proposals to their decision criteria (ticking the boxes)
8) Selection process - Supplier selection, contract conditions specified, or confirmation of recomendation
9) Contract negotiation - Firm intent to sign, final negotiation taking place
10) Stalled - negotiation stalled

Through a regular tracking process, it would become obvious if the sales person was a stage or two ahead of the buyer. The trick was to align the sales cycle stages with the buying cycle stages.

It's widely recognised that buyers go through a process such as...

1) Do I need it?
2) What's the cost?
3) Is it right for me?
4) What are the risks?

However, this "process" can shortened to a single step if the buyer has alraedy made up his mind to buy (even if you haven't done any selling), so you should close early if the customer is ready to buy. For example, a new customer called in saying they needed my product and how much was it?. I said it was £30,000 and I asked him if he was in a position to sign a contract if I drove to his office. He said yes and I collected the order. That was my first "Bluebird" sale.

But in a typical sale, a buyer's concerns will shift over time as different issues take priority at different stages of the buying cycle, issues as as Price or Cost, Risk, Evaluation of alternatives, Cost justification, Credibility of Supplier etc. This was quite well covered by Sales Performance International in "The Solution Selling Psychological Buying Model: Aligning with Buyers"

So when do buyers buy? When they're ready of course.

P.S. Respect to Sandler!! - by salesxpert
Sharon Drew is breaking down a sales process into two distinct area's, the deep structure of buying patterns/decision making and the process that involves selling. The two area's are not the same, no matter how hard you try to rationalise it.

When sharon Drew refers to 'product placement' this in fact the process where so many sales people go into the 'Yes' set or matching product features with 'requirement' when in fact a requirement is a spurious term and may not actually be a 'need'.

The customer may say, 'Yes, I like your security widgets, and yes it would cure so many problems, but i'm not sure if we need it because other people in the business have in-house solutions in place, or our incumbent supplier hasnt advised us of a change'.

It is my belief that Sharon Drew is taking the 'sales' element out of the problem resolution process by uncovering the hidden and not so obvious information and bringing together the people who can make decisions happen, people who are not aware of such problems that need resolving.

It is common whereby very large disperate organisations require the 'buy in' from different departments, different people and where the impact will be felt. Sharon Drew has a focus on bringing together situations like this into alignment.

Uncovering such information is not just about asking 'What' questions, but also 'How' questions.

Is it a new approach to 'Sales'......I don't think so, Sales is one of the few professions where the successful cannot describe the processes of selling that makes them successful. Sharon Drew breaks down in parts processes that aligns change management with selling.

People dont like being 'sold' to, they want real business problems resolved, sales people could do worse than acknowledging this and provide a catalyst for change to happen.

I do believe there are different models out there for bringing into alignment the decisions and processes for change into one agreeable uniform position where there is total buy in.

Finally, it takes time, perserverence and incredible resolve for a person to go out into the market and field test new philosophies, ideas and paradigms and I think Sharon Drew has obviously put heart and soul into her philosophy. - by SeanPatrick
I think that Sharon is highlighting an important aspect of the whole sales process, that starts with raising awareness and ends with a sale. A lot of the selling literature is focussed on the 'front-end' processes - targetting, e-marketing, getting appointments, presenting, overcoming objections etc and it is helpful to look in more detail at the process from a purchasing standpoint. When the buyer(s) goes into a huddle this seems to shine a light on the decision making process and has the added benefit of being based on practical experience. So I value a contribution to this neglected area of the sales process and I believe that it will help sales people to make more rounded and compelling proposals that have a greater chance of success. - by Salesengine
When the buyer(s) goes into a huddle this seems to shine a light on the decision making process and has the added benefit of being based on practical experience.
I'd like to understand this comment further. Could you clarify that statement? - by Ace Coldiron
Hi Jeff... :)

While I haven't read this book, how does this differ from Strategic selling, Action Selling, Hopkins, and even Brian Tracy?
Hi Tom. Because I am not an authority on the topic and don't want to speak out of turn allow me to respond to your question by posting a couple of excerpts from Sharon Drew's writings:

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.
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.
- by Jeff Blackwell
Buyer facilitation and my take on what I have seen to date

I have read numerous blogs, watched you tube type videos, and articles concerning buyer facilitation that Sharon Drew suggests as a very effective way to change buyer’s resistance too changes. Normal selling is a discovery of needs, wants, and more needs with little thought of how it will affect those who use the change.

I take buying facilitation as focusing on the ease of change more than the solution provided. Proving the change will not affect mentally the way change is perceived thus lessening the resistance to change while increasing the want to purchase. To make it easy for me to understand it is similar to installing the equipment and showing them how easy it is to use after the fact and this explained to those involved prior to the selling. I could be wrong. Getting everyone on board and influencing the decision maker to move forward.


The illusion of difficulties arriving due to change becomes an obstacle with the sales process. Too much time not enough time the people involved with the change and change is difficult to accept. The emotion that comes with this is dealt with and used as a primary tool to convince the buyer to move forward.

To help bring the solution on board everyone is required to be convinced that change is necessary. Convincing the decision makers that change is necessary requires the sales professional to get rid of the change excuses and turn them into buying motives. Sharon Drew is crafting measures that prove the ease of change along with the cause and effect of that change, convincing the buyer to move forward.

The sales professional is taught to do away with objections and make them a thing of the past. Do you suppose that this is not doing away with objections however it is using the objections as a way to convince the owner to move forward? Convincing the buyer that change is coming and getting them to accept the change. It then takes the next step as a method to bring the solution and price to light.

I am excited about this book and opening a new dimension or re-examining old ways that I have forgotten or shelved. Hopefully my opinion of this does not get in my way. - by rich34232
Hi Tom. Because I am not an authority on the topic and don't want to speak out of turn allow me to respond to your question by posting a couple of excerpts from Sharon Drew's writings:
Hi Jeff... :)

I think I'm getting it. Slowly, tediously, but I think there is a glimmer. I think she's saying "Large organizations have the same decisions to be made as small ones, it's just that you have organizations within organizations that have all these same buying decisions to be made independantly about your/their system/solution before the final decision can be made. I can show you how to do this!"

Sales is based on placing a solution.
This is quite a revelation... sn; Ok... just being facetious..

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.
Ok this I have all kinds of issues with. She needs to say what kind of sales she is talking about. When I’m across the table from a business owner suggesting that he needs an employee benefit plan, or a young couple recently married asking the question “does he want her to pay the bills or does he want me to pay the bills in case he dies or becomes disabled, there’s just not a lot of pieces that we need to identify, evaluate and consider. They expect me to illuminate the process. She suggests that she’s going to illustrate what is going through their minds in making the buying decision. I KNOW what is going through their minds. What’s in it for me… simplistically, but I’m pretty confident you all know what I mean.

What kind of sales is she talking about? There are sophisticated sales that go far beyond the sales process I’m involved with. Know the players and their interest. This isn’t new stuff and neither is the concept of playing the players. However, for me, the players aren’t all that sophisticated and the message is again, what’s in it for me and do I have the right answer. Selling a multimillion dollar system, a healthcare plan to America, these are the “sophisticated” sales far beyond my “paygrade” that maybe this is who she is geared to.

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
We’re clearly talking about organizations exponentially larger than where I feed. I don’t know that I’d use the words dysfunction to describe my clients or their business, but a call to Microsoft or my Cellphone carrier points out where this might vividly be the case.

This book might be of interest to me when I have time for light reading, but it’s pretty clear that 1) it’s tedious reading for me just in getting to her point… and 2) we’re talking about doing a spacewalk when I don’t even have my jet-rating yet.

Aloha… :cool: - by rattus58
Hi Tom. :)

Sharon Drew is writing about "change management" and "decision making" within a "system". A system can be an individual or an entire corporation.

Again, because I am not an authority on the topic and don't want to speak out of turn allow me to respond to your question by posting a few excerpts from Sharon Drew's writings:

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.
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 their 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.
- by Jeff Blackwell
Hi Jeff... :)

It is obvious that the dirty little secret here is that yer shilling fer her book.... ;bg Ok Ok..... just kidding... just kidding...

I appreciate your taking time to post these little excerpts... because... I've gotten more out these little postings as far as my own understanding than I ever did with the original.

Have you read the book? Am I going to have to in anyway mortgage my little pincer for any length of time in order to afford this secret?

One thing I need to mention is that she is a little presumptuous about things.... we aren't making enough sales? As you probably know, I recently immersed myself into action selling, and though I've a long way to go, one thing I find happening is that things seem to be following a natural progression because of planning and the next step just seems to sorta happen automatically... and I'm still a little overwhelmed by it.... preparation... If ever their was a magic elixer for sales... be prepared.

Continuing along her presumptions...
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'm not pushing action selling or any of the other question based sales program/processes, but HOW does this differ from those approaches where the salesperson is exploring the business realities of his client?

If you do your job, you are able to identify areas that your "solution", to use her words, might fit. Recommendations are made on what you identified in the exploration phase of your interaction with your client. If this succeeds, havent you been successful?

In YOUR OPINION, will this book help me? HOW will this book help me? How hard is this book to read? Her posts are difficult for ME. I'm a slow reader and need time to understand stuff... which I'm sure is easily recognized by some of the stuff I say to stuff that's said.... :)

Much Aloha.. Tom :cool: - by rattus58
Understanding the organisation to which you are selling and its decision making process is obviously key to improving your probability of success. Internal resistance to your products or services can come from a variety of sources within the organisation, these can be predictable but also irrational. Understanding the decision making thread, the politics, who holds the power etc will help influence how the product or service is presented. For example, designing the service so that it meets the needs of a highly influential finance department is a sensible course of action. I think of this as helping the buyer to sell your service to his organisation. - by Salesengine
Hi Tom. :)

Have you read the book? Am I going to have to in anyway mortgage my little pincer for any length of time in order to afford this secret?
Yes, I read the final or close to final draft. I don't know what the cost of the book will be however I wouldn't expect it to be more than a round of golf. :)

I'm not pushing action selling or any of the other question based sales program/processes, but HOW does this differ from those approaches where the salesperson is exploring the business realities of his client?
One is based on change management and decision making (Systems) while the other is based on solution placement (Sales).

In YOUR OPINION, will this book help me? HOW will this book help me? How hard is this book to read? Her posts are difficult for ME. I'm a slow reader and need time to understand stuff... which I'm sure is easily recognized by some of the stuff I say to stuff that's said.... :)
Here are a few questions to consider:
  • Do you ever lose prospects that need your solution?
  • Do you want to shorten the sales cycle?
  • Do you want to close a higher percentage of prospects?
If you answered "Yes" to one or more of those questions then I believe Sharon Drew's Buying Facilitation(R) Model which she describes in her book can help you.

"Dirty Little Secrets" is a sophisticated guide through managing the change issues and decisions that determine a buying decision. I would not classify it as an easy read. - by Jeff Blackwell
Thanks Jeff.... :)

I'll look into it then..

Much Aloha.... Tom :cool: - by rattus58
Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. I appreciate your input about Sharon Drew's blog post and hope the excerpts I posted provided some clarity. I'll go ahead and close this thread now. - by Jeff Blackwell
I believe you can find a "behind the scenes issue" behind a "behind the scene issue" ad infinitum. The topic's question asks "When..".

That would imply that there is a specific point of uncovery at which a buyer would have no remaining issues, nor would internal circumstances provide such issues, to obstruct a purchase. I believe that implication would be correct.

It would also imply a methodology exists to locate and act on that specific point where although other issues exist, they would not obstruct the purchase. Call it the "sweet spot" if you will. I believe that implication would be correct also.

At this point of the discussion, and having read Sharon Drew's post, I can't differentiate anything as new. Effective and successful salespeople have been hitting the sweet spot since sales began.

Perhaps when we reach a further point in the discussion, the differentia will reveal itself. Right now I'm seeing the sameness.
Excellent observation: "salespeople have been hitting the sweet spot since sales began," after overcoming the objections.

In fact, the sale is the measurable, empirical evidence that this illusive trigger has been pulled. Furthermore, it cannot occur without the sharp mental aim and tenacity of the sales rep.

After 30 years of cold-call sales, I have learned that the seasoned sales rep is one who has mastered the process of piercing and penetrating the hardened social persona of the prospect and hitting the soft heart beneath with greater success than the rest.

They have learned that--

"...logic and reason are the slaves of our passions..."

David Hume
Philosopher Born 1711


The social self is where the circular thinking of logic and reason occur--ad infinitum.

The private self, which you discovered long ago, holds those true passions that drive motivation and personal identity.

While we may change our thinking minds, we can never change our sense of self.

The totality of who you are in the moment of the sale, defines the methodology used to locate that heavenly "sweet spot."

Great post! - by John Voris
Thank you, John. As many here know, I shed the handle of Ace Coldiron on SalesPractice when I was invited to take a much more active role in helping Jeff define and achieve its purpose.

"Ace" and I both thank you for the kudos. - by Gary A Boye
Managing (or helping your client manage) the behind-the-scenes decision-making process is vitally important - and I'm going to look out with interest to see if Sharon can shed some new light in this area, because it is a challenging one.
Ian
Well, managing a client's behind the scenes decision-making process may be important but I would say very few sales-people actually do that and I think it would depend largely on the industry a salesperson is working in as to how much time is even spent with a client. My experience is that salespeople don't spend that much time with their clients. Of course I'm generalizing.
- by Vicbowling
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