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BEST OF 2013: Leadership, Change, Listening, Buying Decisions

An interesting year. Sales technology continues to discover more and better ways to share and retrieve content and more finely tune ways to find prospects; deliverables for keynote speakers are becoming more consultative rather than instructional; US companies (different from those outside the US) are doing little face training; social media is expanding as a prospecting and business tool.

But the nut of the sales problem remains the same as it ever was: how to improve the close rate. Certainly sellers have a larger database to work from. Certainly when sellers have some sort of a relationship through social media, or find a demographic with a high potential of prospects, there is a greater chance of closing sales. But those just makes the possibility greater, not the probability.


Regardless of all of the new ways to find prospects and form relationships you face the same problem you’ve always faced: how to get the folks you’re connected with to get the buy-in from the right people internally, in a timely way, to close the sale.

The problem is not your solution; the problem is not their need: the problem is buy-in, consensus management, and change.

80% of your prospects will buy your solution – within the next two years, and from a different vendor. Here’s a rule to take to the bank: the length of time it takes buyers to get buy-in from everyone who will touch the new solution (to avoid any internal disruption) is the length of the sales cycle. So problem/solution match isn’t the issue. They’ll buy when their software issues are managed, when the new teams are in place, when the old vendors are handled, when the reorg is complete. You can either facilitate the buy-in and change, or wait for the low-hanging fruit to drop into your lap when they are ready. But buyers must do this – with you or without you, and using the sale model alone, you are not privy to that process. That’s where you need to add Buying Facilitation®.

Buying Facilitation® is a unique model that leads buyers through the behind-the-scenes, management-related consensus issues they must address. Used as the front end of sales, it significantly increases closes and decreases time wastage: it actually teaches buyers to assemble the buying decision team quickly and handle the management issues you cannot be privy to. Do you want to sell? Or have someone buy? They are two different activities.


As the developer of Buying Facilitation®, I’ve decided to shift gears from training to full time speaking and offer a wider audience the steps and capability to connect buying steps with sales. Go to www.buyingfacilitation.com and take a look at my new speaking site. If you’ve got a conference coming up, let me motivate your sellers to facilitate the buy cycle, add a new value proposition to become real servant leaders for your buyers, and become true relationship managers.

And now, my favorite articles of 2013. I spent this past year writing my new book on listening (Did You Really Say What I Think I Heard coming out the fall published by AMACOM) and focusing on collaborative communication and leadership. As a result I wrote articles focusing on change, leadership, consensus and buy-in, and listening. New stuff. Cool articles (she says, modestly). Enjoy. And I look forward to connecting in the new year.

  1. What, exactly, is a relationship manager?
  2. How do decisions get made?
  3. Information is the problem. What’s the solution?
  4. What if we could hear each other? No. Really
  5. Buying Patterns, Buy Cycle, and Buying Decisions
  6. Sales is a flawed model
  7. Selling in harder times
  8. A buying decision is a change management problem
  9. Putting the lead into leadership: how to influence with integrity
  10. How to listen to what’s intended


For interest or questions, contact Sharon Drew. Take a look at up my new site.

Have you connected with me on LinkedIn? Connect now.


BEST OF 2013: Leadership, Change, Listening, Buying Decisions is a post from: SharonDrewMorgen.com

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More Stories By Sharon Drew Morgen

Sharon Drew Morgen is the visionary and thought leader behind Buying Facilitation® the new sales paradigm that focuses on helping buyers manage their buying decision. She is the author of the NYTimes Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity as well as 5 other books and hundreds of articles that explain different aspects of the decision facilitation model that teaches buyers how to buy.

Morgen dramatically shifts the buying decision tools from solution-focused to decision-support. Sales very competently manages the solution placement end of the decision, yet buyers have been left on their own while sellers are left waiting for a response, and hoping they can close. But no longer: Morgen actually gives sellers the tools to lead buyers through all of their internal, idiosyncratic decisions.

Morgen teaches Buying Facilitation® to global corporations, and she licenses the material with training companies seeking to add new skills to what they are already offering their clients. She has a new book coming out October 15, 2009 called Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it which defines what is happening within buyer’s cultures (systems) and explains how they make the decisions they make.

Morgen has focused on the servant-leader/decision facilitation aspect of sales since her first book came out in 1992, called Sales On The Line.
In all of her books, she unmasks the behind-the-scenes decisions that need to go on before buyers choose a solution, and gives sellers the tools to aid them.

In addition, Morgen changes the success rate of sales from the accepted 10% to 40%: the time it takes buyers to come up with their own answers is the length of the sales cycle, and her books – especially Dirty Little Secrets – teaches sellers how to guide the buyers through to all of their decisions, thereby shifting the sales cycle from a failed model that only manages half of the buying cycle, to a very competent Professional skill set.

Morgen lives in Austin TX, where she dances and works with children’s fund raising projects in her spare time.