In October 2013 I attended my first sales training seminar. One of the first things that we were told, and which is a recurring theme throughout all sales training programs, is that that when we are engaging with a prospect, one of the first things that we need to do as sales people, is that we need to identify who is the “decision-maker”. When asked “Why?” the obvious answer was that “It’s saving you the time to repeat everything twice”, which makes perfect sense.
However, I couldn’t help but feel that there are much deeper reasons for the need to identify the “Decision-maker” in our sales presentation. After years of handling customer enquiries and closing deals, I have come to realize that there are a variety of reasons that have a direct impact on the purchasing-process. Below are three additional reasons why we need to identify the “Decision-makers” early on in the process:
- By identifying the “Decision-Maker” or “Decision-Makers” in the process, you quickly identify who else is involved in the process. Knowing who else is involved, means you can address their individual concerns, objections and doubts with regards to your products/services.
- You can understand the “Decision making process”. Once you know where the decisions are taken, then you can also lay out the decision making process, and see where you can influence more, put pressure, or nudge in a certain direction for a positive outcome.
- It’s all about the “Buying Criteria”. Each person has their own criteria for purchasing. You have higher chances of closing a deal if you are addressing the “decision maker’s” buying criteria. That means that you are disclosing and sharing relevant information to them, and avoiding all unnecessary rumbling about information that is of no relevance or value to the customer.
- Last but not least, is what was said in the first training seminar I attended. The most obvious reason, is “Time”. If you are talking to the wrong person, then the discussion will be long and vague, since not all objections or concerns will be addressed, and more likely that person will have to revert to the “Decision-Maker” before committing to anything.
As a sales person you have to establish within the first few minutes of the discussion “Who is the Decision-Maker”. Anything short of that, puts you at risk of sharing irrelevant information, not answering the right questions, not overcoming the right objections, and not understanding the purchasing process. The outcome, is more likely going to be “I will think about it”, or “Let me talk to… and get back to you” .
When you talk to the “Decision-Makers” both of these walkaway excuses, cease to exist. Why? Because you can address them on the spot! Talking to the “Decision-makers” enables you to expediate the process, share the right and relevant information, answering the right objections, and bringing you one step closer to closing the deal there and then!
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