As sales professionals, we have been taught that we must seek out and uncover our customer's decision process. We are to clearly determine who will be involved, what they are looking for, what criteria they will be using to evaluate the situation, how much money they will be willing to spend, etc. Once we have uncovered the customer's decision criteria, we are then advised to present our solution strengths, our added value, to match that decision process.

But what happens when your customer does not have a thorough decision process—or seldom, if ever, buys your type of solution? You may find yourself presenting good information into a sub-optimal process. All too often, after the presentation, we find ourselves shaking our heads in disbelief and saying to ourselves or our team, "I just don't understand! We clearly had the best value," or... "They just ignored the superiority of our service," or... "We thought they understood the flexibility of our software," or... "The (insert your best feature here) - they just didn't get it."

Research tells us why they didn't understand. In the absence of a high-quality decision process, customers are unable to sort through their complex problems and the competitive clutter surrounding them. Consider this question: "What percentage of your customers have a high-quality process to make a decision regarding your unique technology or services?" As we survey customers, the overwhelming answer is, "Not very many." The lack of a good decision process appears to be the norm, not the exception.

There are three primary reasons your customers may not have a thorough decision process and may not be able to comprehend the true value of your solution.

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