Just When You Think You’ve Got ‘Em

Posted by Mikalah On September - 20 - 2012 0 Comment

In the industry of helping out other sales professionals, I often find that many of them only tend to sell to one or maybe two individuals in their prospect’s company. Sometimes this is works out just fine with no problems, but most times they are cut out without any warning. They were convinced they were talking to the decision maker who had the power and budget to make the calls, so why do they need to talk to anyone else? Besides, if they tried to go around their contact they would compromise their position. Well, most often than not they compromise the sell, because it does not go ahead.

I was sitting in on a sales meeting at one of my customers the other day and this is what I heard from one of the company directors. He was trying to get the above point across and used personal experience. He is a founder of the company; he is a company director (not the CEO) and a major share holder. If you were selling to this guy you would think you hit the jackpot… who else would you need to talk to! Well to get his point across he told this story.

He wanted to get some marketing activity going. He contacted a number of potential suppliers. They came in and pitched. He got prices, timescales and picked a potential supplier. They must have got very excited. They did not ask to meet anyone else in the company. They did not understand how decisions were made in the company. After all, they had a very important contact, why would they need anyone else? Once he had gathered this project together he presented his ideas to his fellow directors. The idea did not get a lot of support, He found himself very much on his own against four others. This did not make him comfortable and so he dropped the idea. It’s political at the top and you do not always want to put your head above the parapet to get it shot at… there are other fights to win. So the deal went away in one fell swoop… sound familiar? I’ve heard the exact same thing happen in all industries, from Mercedes car parts to Amazon e-gift cards.

So how can you avoid that sort of situation? Sell at the top and sell to more than one person. Triangulate the information and qualify properly. Do not take the word of one person. It’s not that they are lying, it’s just what they know may not be entirely accurate!

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