One of the things that I get asked the most at our Sales Training is whether I know the best way to gain access to the real decision makers.
You’re now probably thinking: “But don’t I have access to the real decision maker?”
Often, when you’re working with a company to draw up and submit a proposal for them, you’re “kicked” to middle management, with the excuse that they are the ones responsible for the project.
You do all the work with them, you create the project, you submit the proposal, and they are supposed to love your work.
Next, their job is supposedly to submit and defend your work with the real decision maker that has not yet appeared.
The problem is that many times you’re facing a “Yes Man.” And when they go and submit the proposal to the real decision maker, and there is some small detail that the latter doesn’t like, they try and apologize by saying: “Well, I thought so too, but it was their idea …”.
In these processes, it is essential that you get the real decision makers involved as quickly as possible, right from the beginning.
Speaking is natural, but achieving this becomes a bit more complicated.
There are several questions.
For example, how do you ask to climb the structure without harassing the person with whom you’re having the meeting?
One of the things you can use the most is an accessory reason to meet with that person and create, if possible, a relationship.
For example, you may invite your interlocutor, together with the decision maker, to have lunch together with someone else in your decision-making structure, for example, your boss or the CEO of your company.
Preferably, your Director should address the invitation to your customer so that there are no problems.
Another alternative is to use an invitation to an event.
Consider, for example, holding a mini-seminar on a topic on which your customer’s decision maker might be interested.
We’re not talking about a mini-seminar to sell products or solutions.
We’re talking about offering free training to your customer on a topic that may interest them.
Maybe, that something, doesn’t exist in your company, for example, a mini-seminar on topics like sales or leadership, something that the decision maker would be interested.
The idea is to make the invitation so irresistible that they can’t really refuse.
In this mini-seminar also take advantage of inviting, and, above all, guaranteeing the presence of your customers (preferably those who are happy with the relationship they have with your company).
Of course, you should mix them with potential customers during the event so they can get together and, above all, exchange ideas.
Another way to promote contact with the decision makers of the potential customers could be setting up an event of an exchange of experiences and networking.
Choose a theme, invite a speaker, and promote a dinner or lunch with that speaker’s intervention after the meal.
You may, for example, make one of your satisfied customers intervene, speaking of their specific case as a case study.
There are many ways for you to choose, if you want something more interactive, turn this event into a panel discussion and make the different actors exchange experiences with each other.
You will see that by doing something like this your potential customers not only adhere, but they also end up thanking you.
By the way, this week you should stop for a moment and think. Look at the list of your proposals that have not yet been approved by customers and check if you’re really talking to the actual decision maker. If this is not happening, promote one of these strategies as quickly as possible to get to talk to them.
Also published on Medium.