The Buying Facilitation Concept

Sharon Drew Morgen’s Buying Facilitation Method® operates to a totally different set of premises than conventional sales. Here are some underpinning principles of the Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® philosophy:

  • The seller’s job is to help people understand what their systems require in order to change.
  • Only a person working or living within a culture or system can understand it. (The seller can never truly understand the buyer’s system because it is so complex and dynamic – if you are in any doubt about this think how long it takes to really get to know an organization when you start a new job…)
  • People only make a change when they’re sure they can manage the resulting chaos.
  • A seller is uniquely positioned to help the buyer discover how to solve a problem within their system.
  • Only the buyer, never the seller, is able to work their way through the decision within the system. However, the seller can help the buyer do this because the seller has the macro view.
  • The buyer needs to recognise all the specifics of what a solution will entail within his or her unique environment.
  • By matching the buyer’s unique buying criteria, the seller is a true advisor and can be easily differentiated from the competition.
  • The seller is uniquely positioned to be a brand ambassador for the supplier.

Morgen’s Buying Facilitation Method® is therefore ‘an up-front addition to the sales process’. It is not a form of consultative sales. It is not about presenting product, information or ideas to create interest, and it is not about gathering information in order to sell what the sales person thinks is needed. Morgen’s Buying Facilitation Method is a decision-based system that helps buyers discover:

  • All of the elements that need to be included within their purchasing decision, and
  • The systems variables that need to be accounted for as a result of a purchasing decision, so their internal systems stay intact.

Traditional selling is based on the product or service sale, and yet until buyers know how decisions and new purchases will affect their culture they will delay their decisions. The Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® is a front-end decision-facilitation methodology, used by sellers, to lead a buyer through the examination of all the variables that need to be included in deciding how a new solution will enter their systems.

The Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® is different to traditional sales techniques, that invariably lead buyers through an information process to strategically place a product or service. The method helps buyers how to align all organizational variables affected by the change, so as to prevent chaos once the change is made.

As result, the Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® enables multiple-point decision-making to an extent that the sales person effectively becomes an organizational consultant to the buying organization, by focusing strongly on the decision-influencing teams and systems within it. Moreover, Morgen’s system is an adjunct to the normal sales process that supports the buyer’s buying patterns. Conventional sales methods can be added once the buyer has aligned all of their decision variables. As Sharon Drew Morgen says: “Do you want to sell? or have someone buy?”

By helping the buyer make sense of the system they live and work within, the sales person becomes a part of the buyer’s decision team and therefore operates as a true consultant. Facilitative questions form a crucial part of this process, which Sharon Drew Morgen positions in the ‘Buying Decision Funnel’ significantly in advance of the conventional ‘Product Decision Funnel’. The sales person must therefore help the buyer become aware of the variables within the buyer’s organizational system, and how the purchase of the new product or service will affect it.

The Buying Decision Funnel by Sharon Drew Morgan
The Buying Decision Funnel by Sharon Drew Morgan

The Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® is a decision-facilitation system that helps buyers make their best buying decision while you become part of their decision team. While a conventional selling process can be added, the Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® is actually the primary step, and can in certain circumstances effectively replace an entire conventional selling process, with dramatically improved results. The Morgen Buying Facilitation Method® works from a different set of beliefs than conventional selling. It works from the belief that buyers have their own unique way of seeking solutions, and our job as a seller is to help them in their process. This greatly reduce the sales cycle – buyers must go through this process, and they will do it with you or without you. Morgen’s Buying Facilitation Method® therefore makes you a trusted collaborator, head and shoulders above the competition.

The Buying Facilitation by Sharon Drew Morgan
The Buying Facilitation by Sharon Drew Morgan

Examples of ‘buying facilitation’ Questions
Here are examples of facilitative questions that Sharon Drew Morgen uses to illustrate how the flow of questions operates within the facilitative questioning process, as shown in the buying decision funnel diagram above. The scenario is one of an organization considering sales training for its sales people, but the principles are transferable to any situation. Note that since there are no answers to these questions (and of course answers often create the shape and direction of discussions), these questions are an example of how the process works, not a process in itself. Note also – as Sharon Drew Morgen says – “…this is a decision-facilitation model rather than a sales model. My job, as a facilitator, is to help you make your best decision based on what your solution must look like in your unique culture with your unique buying criteria.”

  • How do you currently train your sales people?
  • How is that working for you?
  • Is anything missing?
  • If there is something further you’d want but aren’t getting?; what’s stopping you from getting what you want from your sales training?; From your sales people?
  • How are you currently set up to fix this problem with the current resources you’ve got in place (i.e. internal trainers/ Current vendors)?
  • What’s stopping you from using your current resources (trainers/vendors) to fix the problem?
  • What would need to know in order to consider doing something different from what you are currently doing in the area of sales training?
  • How will you know that whatever skills you decide to add will work with what you are currently doing, so that there won’t be a breakdown, and you won’t lose the success you’ve already attained?
  • What type of decision would you and your team need to make that’s different from the one you made to have the training you are now running?
  • How do you plan on aligning the (management, partners, initiatives) so that if you decide to add new sales skills, they will be happy to work with you on the change?
  • What criteria would you need to have filled to understand that a different or alternate training approach would work alongside the approach you are currently using to give you (a higher closing ratio; a quicker sales cycle; increased customer retention; more referrals; increased sales from a unique/new customer base)?
  • How would you know that a chosen provider or solution would meet that criteria?; What would you need to know or see from us to know that our material would meld with what you’ve got in place?
  • How would you know we could deliver this and match your criteria?

“Buying Facilitation® assumes that before a seller can place his/her product, the buyer’s system and unique cultural issues must be addressed. While product pitch or presentation can be offered after buyers line up their decisions, doing so beforehand faces delays in the buying decision while the buyer lines up the systems necessary for success.”

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