People are getting confused about the terms buying decision journey, buying
path, buy-cycle, helping buyers buy, and buying decisions. Using a case
study, let’s look at how a real buying decision happens.
When I began using the terms in the 80s my meaning described a change
management process to lead buyers through their
non-solution/non-need-related, behind-the-scenes internal and
political issues that enable all who touch the solution to buy-in. Lately
I’ve noticed the terms applied to the sales end of the buying decision –
that 10% of the buyer’s journey that manages the pre-solution
choice behaviors, including solution/vendor choice, time/money issues.
In other words, sales.
But let’s stop a moment: We don’t buy this way.
HOW DO WE BUY?
Here’s is a case study to offer an example of how we actually buy.
Pretend you are the VP of Client Services of a $15 Mil... (more)
When you prepare to meet a prospect, how do you know who or what your
competition is? How do you know how to position yourself strategically
against them? Do you ‘wing it?’ Do you do research? Where do you get your
research from? How do you know your research is adequate or accurate?
I’ve got the answers for you. eCompetitors is this amazing site that has me
gobsmacked (did i spell that right?). It does all of the research you could
ever wish for, on 11,445 global industries and companies at the
line-of-business level. That means that it checks out everything – e v e r
y t h i ... (more)
Years ago I did consulting for KPMG. The group I trained sold an 8 figure
solution that originally took 3 years to close (we brought it down to 4
months). One of the first things they did was to get an appointment with one
of the managers (an entry point, not a real decision maker) – and then
proceed to spend weeks preparing for the meeting by developing a very, very
impressive ‘pitch book.’ You might have seen those pitch books that are
used in high dollar sales: large, colorful binders, huge sets of PPT
material – in all, it cost (in time and materials) anywhere from a few
You are carefully prepared: great outfit, warm smile, solid slides, good
knowledge of the needs and how to parallel them with your material. But wait:
who, exactly, are you presenting to? And how do you know the members of the
Buying Decision Team are present? or if what you are presenting will fit with
the non-need-related elements of their buying criteria? After all:
resolving a need has many elements that don’t apply directly to the problem
or solution, and without the full complement issues managed, buyers can’t
buy regardless of the efficacy of your solution.
I believe se... (more)
I was recently interviewed by Bob Thompson of Customer Think. It was a
thoughtful interview, but then again, Bob is quite a thoughtful person. His
integrity and care about the customer-focused business environment is quite
obvious. His site – Customer Think - offers very interesting articles
and blogs that cover the thought leadership around customers and sellers. The
articles are cogent, timely, well-written, and always interesting.
It is with great pride that I offer our interview. And don’t forget to go
to Bob’s site. You’ll have a wonderful time getting filled with new ideas ... (more)