One of the things I get asked the most in my sales training is how to gain access to “the real” decision-makers.
You’re probably thinking, but don’t I have access to the real one?
When we often work with a company to develop and present a proposal, we are “kicked” to a middle-man, with the excuse that he is the one in charge of the project.
We do all the work with him, create the project, and present the proposal; he loves our work.
His job is to present and defend our work to the real decision-maker, who has not shown up so far.
The problem is that many times we are faced with a “Yes Man” who, when he goes to present the proposal to the real decision-maker, and there is some detail that he doesn’t like, he apologizes by saying:
“Yeah, I thought so too, but it was their idea…”
In these processes, it is essential that from the beginning, you involve the real decision-makers as soon as possible.
Talking is easy, but achieving it becomes a little more complex.
Several questions are raised here.
For example, how do I ask to move up in the structure without harassing the person we’re meeting with?
One of the ways we use most is to use an ancillary reason to get the meeting with that person and create, if possible, some relationship.
For example, we can invite our interlocutor, with the decision maker, to a lunch meeting with someone higher up in our decision structure, our boss or the CEO of our company.
Your CEO should address the invitation to your customer so that there are no problems.
Another alternative is to use an invitation to an event.
Think, for example, of a seminar on a topic in which your client’s decision-maker may be interested.
Attention, we are discussing something other than a seminar to present products or solutions.
We are talking about offering free training to your client on a topic that might interest him.
Even if it is something that does not exist in your company, such as a seminar on sales or leadership.
Something that the decision-maker would like to attend.
The idea is to make the invitation so irresistible that he can’t refuse.
In this seminar also take the opportunity to invite, and above all ensure the presence of your customers (preferably satisfied ones).
Of course, you should mix them with potential customers during the event to socialize and, above all, exchange impressions.
Another way to promote contact with potential customers’ decision-makers could be to create an exchange and networking event.
Choose a theme, invite a speaker, and have dinner or lunch with the speaker speaking after the food.
You can, for example, have one of your satisfied customers talk about his or her specific case as a “case study”.
The possibilities here are many. If you want something more interactive, turn this event into a panel discussion and have the speaker’s exchange experiences with each other.
By doing something like this, you will see that potential customers will join and thank you.
By the way, this week, take a moment to think, look at the list of your proposals that are on the street and analyze if, in fact, in each one you are talking to the real decision maker.
If this is not happening, promote as soon as possible one of these strategies to get through to him.
Also published on Medium.