When Does a Buyer Buy?

Updated: November 05, 2009

You're not going to like what I have to say: If a buyer truly needed your solution they would have either bought it or resolved their problem already.

David Sandler called the buyer's need ‘Pain.' But think about it: If you broke your arm, would you wait weeks/months/years to get it fixed? Of course not. So how can buyers wait to resolve their need when it seems so obvious that choosing our solution would create a state of excellence that they are not experiencing already?

It's not because they don't have a need, or because they don't appreciate you, your solution, or excellence. They wait because their system - that grouping of people, policies, rules, relationships, initiatives, group assumptions - that has created the ‘need' is the same system that is holding it in place.

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?? 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: 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.

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. Start by recognizing that sales just manages one piece of the buying decision, and consider adding Buying Facilitation® to your skill set.

Featured Research
  • The New 2017 Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 34 business phone vendors in the world. In one, easy-to-reference location, we’ve neatly outlined the information you need. more

  • Best Practices for Contact Center Quality Assurance

    A contact center often brings about a prospect’s first real-time interaction with your company. As such, if it’s not a positive one, they’ll likely look elsewhere for help. With 69% of Americans more inclined to recommend a company to friends and family after a positive customer service experience, you’ll need to exceed expectations on the following fronts. more

  • How to Make Your Contact Center More Efficient

    There’s a very good chance that your contact center is underperforming. With consumer preferences continuously changing, strategies that were once effective now result in too many unsatisfied customers. Fixing this problem involves reviewing your current procedures and optimizing them to drive better results. more

  • 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Many businesses rely on a collection of communication tools that they adopt to address specific needs as they arise. This strategy may seem to work in the beginning, but eventually will lead to a system that is cumbersome to use, difficult to explain to new hires, expensive, and effective in some areas, but full of gaps. more

  • Your Guide to Social Customer Service

    Did you know that 67% of online consumers have used social media for customer service purposes?Unfortunately, many businesses ignore social mentions because they don’t know how to handle them appropriately. This is a problem because managing and responding to these mentions can make or break your brand. more