It’s The Consensus, Stupid*

Buying decisions happen well before buyers consider your solution regardless of their need or the efficacy of your solution, marketing, or content. In fact, a purchase is the very last thing that occurs in a string of events buyers must handle as they seek to solve a business problem.

One of the first things they must do is assemble the complete Buying Decision Team to garner the consensus necessary for change. Studies from the CEB show that a Buying Decision Team includes approximately 6 decision makers and untold influencers who must achieve consensus before considering how to resolve their problem, whether it’s a purchase or another fix. Let’s look at this from 3 angles:

  1. Buyers don’t initially know who belongs on the Buying Decision Team. The time it takes them to assemble the right people and hear their voices around fixing a business problem is part of the buying decision path. These issues are political, systemic, relational – not focused on need. We are not facilitating the assembly of the team.
  2. An external solution is considered only when there is consensus that an internal problem can’t be resolved with familiar resources. We are not facilitating the systemic discovery process that has little to do with our solution.
  3. An external fix causes disruption. It’s necessary to have consensus as to when, if, or how to bring in a new solution so disruption can be either avoided or planned for. We are not facilitating consensus as it’s unique and systemic.
  4. Any solution – internal change or an external purchase – must address the change management issues that result from anything new entering the status quo. We are not facilitating change but merely offering content on what might be a solution.

Content Is Not King

Content is merely one way the decision makers and influencers can learn about possible solutions when they are ready to begin thinking about options. Other solutions being considered include internal workarounds that will manage the problems more simply. A purchase is merely the very last thing buyers consider. We are limiting our success to a small segment of opportunity and should be facilitating decisions point before pushing solutions.

We can facilitate a buyer’s consensus from sales, marketing, and social, but not with the current sales or marketing models. Add Buying Facilitation® to your sales and marketing and enter earlier by first helping facilitate consensus. It’s not sales, nor is it solution driven – it’s a change facilitation model. But buyers have to do it with you or without you. It might as well be with you. And THEN you can sell your solution.

*Thanks to Bill Clinton: “It’s the Economy, Stupid.”

About the Author

Sharon Drew Morgen is founder of Morgen Facilitations, Inc. ( She is the visionary behind Buying Facilitation®, the decision facilitation model that enables people to change with integrity. A pioneer who has spoken about, written about, and taught the skills to help buyers buy, she is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Business Bestseller Selling with Integrity and Dirty Little Secrets: Why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what you can do about it.

Contact Sharon Drew at [email protected] and add her Buying Facilitation® model to your sales or marketing solutions. Then you can influence the entire decision path, not just the back end.