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Decision Makers vs. Influencers

question_x3I’ve heard there are 5.7 decision makers for each sale, and ‘unknown’ influencers. Yet there is no difference between ‘decision makers’ and ‘influencers’.

If you want to move and your daughter is in her last year of high school, is she a decision maker or an influencer?

If your tech group isn’t available to implement a new program until they finish current work, would the tech director be an influencer or a decision maker?

If your company is going through a merger and the teams haven’t been merged yet, would the director of the groups that needed training be influencers or decision makers?

If you think some of your folks need coaching, would the coachees be influencers or decision makers?

See what I mean? “Decision Maker” and “Influencer” are arbitrary delineations. Until everyone who touches the final solution buys-in, and change is managed, no buying decision will happen, regardless of your solution or their need. Think about that when you ask for ‘the decision maker’ or believe that the one person who showed up to your appointment is ‘the decision maker.’ There is never one. And you’re merely delaying your sale.

Years ago, a coaching client selling golf carts with GPS systems once bet me $20 that the owner of a golf course was the sole decision maker. They’d been having lovely conversations for a year and my client was just waiting for him to close. I placed a call to the owner.

SDM: I’m training with William. Seems you two sort of love each other but I’m confused. What’s stopping you from buying since it seems you love our carts so much.
O:  I do love your carts. But my grounds-keeper would kill me if I bought any. He’s afraid that if the GPS system breaks down we’d run out of carts for the golfers. So it’s not my call.

My client put his $20 into my lap. They’d been having great chats for a year! Btw, I did go on to use Buying Facilitation® to have him bring the grounds keeper into the conversation at that point, and he eventually bought. But he wouldn’t have.

You’ll never know who the decision makers are and you aren’t aware what sort of internal decisions must be made. Call me to add some decision facilitation skills to what you’re already doing. [email protected] -  www.buyingfacilitation.com

Decision Makers vs. Influencers is a post from: SharonDrewMorgen.com

Read the original blog entry...

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.

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