Chapter 55. Buying Decisions: What Happens behind the Scenes?

Sharon Drew Morgen

Morgen Facilitations

As sales folks, we like to think that because a buyer's need matches our solution, and because we're professionals who "care," have a "perfect solution," and give "great service," the only thing buyers need to do is choose us.

If only it were that easy, we'd be closing a lot more sales, and we certainly would not lose as many sales as we do. The problem is that the buying decision is so, so much more complex than we realize.

For some reason, sales historically treats an Identified Problem (my term for "need") as if it were an isolated event. It's not: Any Identified Problem is integrated within the buyer's larger, more complex system (defined as the environment of interdependent parts of rules and relationships, policies and people, that make up the culture). When an external solution is considered, it is primarily a Change Management issue, rather than a need-resolution issue, with ramifications and idiosyncratic internal resolutions that only buyers can manage privately and which we can never be privy to.

Indeed, until or unless buyers get appropriate buy-in from within, and until or unless they can be assured that the system itself will not be compromised when something new enters, they cannot risk jeopardizing the integrity of the system and will do nothing.

Herein lies the buyer/seller conundrum: Sellers are managing solution placement, while buyers are managing systems integrity. ...

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