There's a terrific, provocative and challenging book on the stands today — Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can't buy and sellers can't sell and what you can do about it. Sharon Drew Morgen's book unveils what lies beneath the buying decision process, layer by layer, until you finally get that Eureka moment that it's got nothing to do with the product.
We, as marketers and sellers, focus on identifying triggering events, needs or problems and begin addressing those as a way to build relationships and get our prospects to buy from us. As I was reading her book, I realized that we're actually a bit late to the party and trying to sneak in through a side door.
In Dirty Little Secrets, Sharon Drew shares a wealth of examples to help us understand what goes on behind the scenes. She puts clarity around status quo by showing that all "systems" have workarounds in place that keep things functioning, even if not optimally. Untangling those workarounds is often the barrier to making a sale.
"No decision to purchase will take place unless the people and policies included in the workarounds buy in to change and the elements are redistributed in a way the system approves."
The key is to help buyers manage their offline change issues prior to our attempts to focus them on solving the problem. When we don't do this, or our buyers can't do it on their own, the decision made is to do nothing at all. The system wins the battle to maintain status quo.
Sharon Drew points out that the issue is often that buyers have tunnel vision when it comes to dealing with issues. They're simply too close to them to see the entire spectrum they must address to get true resolution. Our job as marketers and sellers is to help them step back and take an objective stance that enables them to see the entirety of everything involved in solving the problem.
Dirty Little Secrets is all about showing you how to "facilitate the route through to the buy in process." Sharon Drew does a magnificent job of making this easy to understand. In fact, when I read it myself, I had a V-8, head-slapping moment. I believe a lot of us know this subject matter subconsciously, but I've never had a better way to articulate it and get to the root before I read Sharon Drew's book.
And, in case you think this is just a sales book, I warn you - the insights can help marketers who are earnestly trying to map content to buying stages reach even farther back to engage prospects earlier in the process in a more productive way.
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