Morgen Facilitations, Inc.


This will be my last essay. I have been writing these newsletters monthly newsletter/essays for the past 8 years. During that time I have spent upwards of 25 hours writing each one. I hope that you have enjoyed them and learned a bit about the differences between selling and the psychology of buy-in.

As my final essay, I’d like to get back to basics. It continues to surprise me that some of you have a hard time understanding how to ‘apply’ the basic beliefs and skills underlying Buying Facilitation. Somehow, helping others manage their internal decisions before buying, and separate from any need that your product can resolve, seems to be a difficult concept.

Here’s a story of something that recently happened to me to give you one more tale to see if I can help you to understand the differences between the seller’s product, the buyer’s need, and the buyer’s internal buying criteria.


I was recently perusing a local site to find out about the time and place of a group hike I wanted to take. On the right I saw an ad for Singles Over 40. As it was late at night, and I wasn’t fully concentrating, I figured the ad was for something like the Sierra Club and hiking with folks my age. I quickly filled out the questionnaire, and went to bed.

Next day, I got a call from Great Expectations, a national singles/dating service. What a surprise. I laughed at my own stupidity, but decided to go along with it. I’m single, over 40, and I thought I’d try it out. Hey, why limit my options?

The young woman on the phone, Summer, was courteous, gentle, and I liked her a lot. But she couldn’t seem to answer many questions: what sort of services did they offer? Come in and meet with us. What sort of prices? Come in and meet with us. She didn’t seem to know anything, but I decided that I was curious enough – frankly fascinated by the sales model they would use to lure me in. I told her I'd come down for an appointment on the morning of July 4th if that worked for them. She called me back: Date fine.

I went to the place, and was greeted by a lovely young woman who took me to a much older woman, somewhat heavily made up, overweight, and dressed in an outfit my mother would wear. Bad beginning. But, ok. I shouldn’t judge. She gave me a false smile, and whizzed me back to her office, saying something about it being July 4th. I said, “I told Summer that I could come by in two weeks instead, but she told me that this week was fine.”
          “They get paid on ‘show ups’. That’s why she said it was ok.”


That was certainly more information than I wanted. I was already getting the feeling that I was going to be given a major sales push. But I truly, truly wanted to watch the process, play like a buyer, and if the process had integrity (according to my cranky values, to be sure – but hey, every buyer has their own set of unique values, right?) I might end up with the man of my dreams! What a deal!

The woman – Denise I think her name was – began going into an amazingly accomplished sales pitch for the next hour. She was polished. And she played on my heart strings: You want LOVE, don’t you? Someone to notice you? Pay attention? Tell you how beautiful you are – and you ARE- and how cute you are and how athletic you look. I have just the guy for you. Seventy one, but handsome, athletic, long hair, professor. Oops.. (she saw my face)… don’t like older men.. OK. Got a younger one coming right up.

I was quite amazed at the way she want about pitching and pulling at my supposed need. And she never asked about my deep criteria. She was on a roll.

She led me through her list of 'what women want' and the dreams women have (want 'someone to love me' check; want 'someone to take care of me' ... um, maybe; want 'someone to walk on beaches with'....not so much) and showed me pictures of pretty people with muted colors and generic bios. She then continued the interview to explain how their services worked, saying she'd guide me through the forms I’d submit to entice the men. For this, she wanted me to make sure I didn’t scare them off, having the fragile egos they allegedly have (She must know very different men from the ones I know. And besides: how disrespectful to all!)
          “Let’s not put down that you’re an author and inventor. Let’s just say you’re self employed, shall we?”


Several times I tried to stop her massive, sales-centric, assumption-filled pitch, to tell her that she would do better with me to help me decide. She was impatient and her eyes flared each time – just enough to shut me up before she continued. There was no room for me, and her selling patterns had no identifiable fit with my buying patterns. She was pushing SO hard that I had some pity and was going to offer her a few Facilitative Questions. But there was no room.

I watched and listened as she did her shtick for an hour. Her singular belief seemed to be that if I admitted my ‘need’, I’d buy.  And I suspect that she would say that she was trying to help me.

She did about 40 trial closes, and I kept saying ‘YES, YES, YES’. Did I have a need? Yup. Did I want a relationship? Yup. Was walking hand-in-hand on the beach with the love of my life terrific? Uh… ok. I had a problem. I had a need. I needed a solution. I was in front of her and she was asking me to Trust Trust Trust (She was the Best. She had been doing this in 7 cities for 7 years. She She She) and BELIEVE in love and romance! And I DID I DID.

Finally I tried one more time to stop her by saying, “I think you should know what I do for a living so you can really help me decide if I want…..”

She stopped me with an eye and nostril flare: “PLEASE. Is THIS what you do to men? Is THIS why you’re not in a relationship? Does it have to be YOUR way?” Then, with a condescending smile, she said: “I’ll find out ALL about you when it’s time. But first, you need to tell me that you’re going to sign up for the program.”

“You want me to sign up NOW? I don’t even know my options. How do I know that your pool of men would include the sort of men that I prefer? How do I know if people have been successful working with you? What does this all cost?”

“I’ll tell you price after you’ve committed to join.”

“You want me to join first and THEN you’ll tell me the price?”

“Yes. I can tell you it’s reasonable. But you either want to find Romance, or you don’t. And, from what you said, seems to me you want Romance. I just need your commitment.”

“I’ll pass. I have questions and aren’t answered. I don’t know who you all are. And I’m not going to be pressured into a decision now.”

“Fine. Here’s my card.”


And that was the end of our interview. I didn’t buy. She wasted July 4th on a tire kicker.

But I might have bought if my criteria were addressed. Indeed, she was seriously stepping on my beliefs about how people respect each other, she didn't find out who I was, she didn't recognize my criteria around buying something like a 'dating service' and assumed that becoming a 'trustworthy' seller with a good product, that I'd want to buy.

At no point did it ever cross her mind that I might have buying criteria, relationship criteria, interaction/communication criteria. In her mind, my need was established, her product/solution was established, her professional knowledge and care was established. But I didn't buy because of my internal criteria that were seriously offended by her selling patterns.

All she ever had to do was to use a couple of Facilitative Questions on me. It would have taken minutes and we both could have saved an hour – not to mention frustration.

Buying Facilitation assumes the buyer has internal buying criteria separate from possible needs, and are based on hidden, unique, and idiosyncratic conditions that must be addressed before a decision can happen. Facilitative Questions lead the buyer’s brain sequentially through the internal system that stores and manages these criteria and has created and maintained the Identified Problem. The content, context, situation, product, need, and vendor, are all secondary to the buyer's need to ensure all internal decision making factors (the full range of elements that created and maintain the Identified Problem) are bought-in to external change (the solution).

In my situation, my ‘need’ to find ‘Romance’ was the Identified Problem. My internal criteria that had to be managed were: 1. I wasn’t necessarily seeking a solution; 2. I had no measure with which to trust them; 3. I’d need references from other women my age; 4. I’d need to know the sort of database they kept in terms of education, professions, fitness levels, political preferences, leisure time activities, etc. So my ‘need’ had nothing to do with my decision to choose them as a solution.

Denise could have asked these Facilitative Questions:

How would you know when it was time to join a dating service (Probably never would have thought of it if it hadn’t been an error; I’m uncomfortable with the premise. But I would have given it a shot if I were comfortable.)?

What would you need to see from us to know that you would be comfortable working with us and meeting the type of folks we have on file (I’d need a reference from someone who has been using your service for 6 months; I’d need to know that you had a file of the sorts of men I’d have an interest in; and I’d need to see a listing of the different services and prices I can choose from.)

That would have been it. If they told me I couldn’t have a reference and I couldn’t see the prices and have no way of knowing the sorts of men I could meet, I’d have been outta there in 4 minutes. Or if they wanted my business they could have figured out a way to meet my criteria. Their choice.

Are you beginning to see here? The context doesn’t matter. I had buying criteria which was far different from their sales pitch and product offer. Did I have a need? Technically, I was a perfect buyer. Could I have afforded this? I suspect so, but I never found out their prices. This was not a money objection, nor a solution-fit issue. This was a case of me having very specific buying criteria (especially since I started out with none) and them having no idea that the sale was about anything other than their product and making sure I had a ‘need’.


Buyers can be single women like me, or brokers working with insurance, or bankers who need to choose between vendors when placing a product from similar offerings, or large multinationals with many people involved with deciding on training, or a student deciding on a college.

Everyone has private, hidden, unique buying criteria that drive their decision and it’s very separate from their Identified Problem. It’s not about the need, it’s not about the product, it’s not about a solution, it’s not about the seller. Most importantly, people cannot choose a solution that would leave the entire system in any sort of disruption.

A young banker (Paul) recently told me he didn’t understand how Buying Facilitation applied to him. His buyer was a group of agents who placed banking products to their clients, and had lists of similar product offerings and vendors to choose from. This young man was trying to influence the agents to choose him through long, protracted relationship sessions in which he was attempting to prove his trustworthiness, and professionalism.

What, then, does the agent need to decide? Paul couldn’t understand the range of necessary decisions, separate from his personality or price or product. He didn’t understand:

  • the possible rules (spoken and unspoken) that the agents worked from;
  • the prior relationships already in place;
  • the history the agents had with others from Paul’s bank;
  • the biases the agent’s clients had and their historic beliefs, problems, and vendor issues;
  • the ease the agents had working with Paul’s product line;
  • how the market viewed his bank, etc.

The buy-in requirements were separate from the need or problem. Just like I might have a need for a dating service, I also have criteria about choosing an agency to work with. It’s not about my need for Romance. Just like you have interest in Buying Facilitation, but have criteria around learning or doing something different from what you're used to. It’s not about your need for being a more successful seller, or the efficacy of my program: it's about your willingness and ability and commitment to change your own sales behaviors and make sure that you can continue your rate of success while going through change. It's the Buying Decision end of the sales process. Not the Product Decision end.

No one will do anything differently until or unless all appropriate internal rules are met and principles adhered to.

Sales has done us all a disservice. It’s based sales interactions on needs analysis, info gathering, and product placement. But it has not offered any tools to help us manage the decisions necessary prior to the buying.


As I end these newsletters, and you wish to learn more, I’m going to leave you with a list of learning tools to choose from. Start by reading Buying Facilitation: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions if you haven’t done so. It’s a very complete dissertation on how buying decisions happen and how Facilitative Questions work. To actually learn how to formulate Facilitative Questions, listen for systems, or do Presumptive Summaries, take a look below and decide what works for you once you answer these questions:

How would you know when it was time to enhance your sales skills and learn how to influence and support the buying decision?

How would you know that one sales model would work better than another?

What would you need to understand about Buying Facilitation to know if it would work alongside your current selling skills?

How would you know that one set of learning materials would work  better than another?

Buying Facilitation is a new skill set. It takes learning and study like any new set of skills you wish to learn. There are several ways to do this:

I wish you all the best, and hope that some of my newsletters were helpful.

Would you rather sell? Or have someone buy?



Thank you all for giving me a platform to express my thoughts and learn how to talk about my decision facilitation model.

As I start the process of retiring, or shifting careers, or whatever I end up doing as my work in the sales field is winding down, I'd like you to do me a favor: I would love you to consider truly learning Buying Facilitation - not just as a sales tool, but as a collaborative decision model for negotiations, relationships, coaching, and change management.

I know Buying Facilitation is complex, but that's mainly because it's unusual and you folks aren't used to thinking about buying decisions rather than product sale (although I'd like to think I have something to do with the field currently talking about buying decisions, buying criteria, buying patterns). But the model is solid and will give you great rewards in the way of increased business, solid trustworthy relationships, and differentiation. Not to mention that it's a servant leader model and you are truly helping your buyers, relatives, and colleagues, find their own best answers.

You will know by now that the ebook Buying Facilitation: the new way to sell is a profound change book about decision making, but does not get you all the way through to the skills. Since I may not be around to actually teach you, I have worked hard at creating a program to meticulously teach Buying Facilitation without me. I've designed a 26 bi-weekly Guided Study that breaks down the learning piece by piece. It's the best I have been able to do outside of a classroom situation. I urge you to get the Guides as the best way I know of to help you learn the material without me.

Again, thank you all for your interest over these past 8 years. I'm sure hoping that something, in some of my essays, has helped your business grow, helped you work more ethically and spiritually to serve another person better, and in general, helped you see the world in a new way. I'm blessed to have had the opportunity to serve you.

All Content Copyright© Morgen Facilitations, Inc. 2008