Getting to the decision maker has to be one of the most difficult parts of the sales process. More often than not, as sales professional we can network, we can get in the door; we can identify the problems; and we can make amazing presentations that offer killer solutions – but we still can’t seal the deal.
No matter how good a sales professional you are, you can’t close the deal until you get to the decision maker. No matter how much of a perfect fit your product or service is, you have to get to the person who holds the purse strings and has all the authority.
But it’s more than that. You not only need to get to the decision maker, you need to get them to want to do business with you. And in today’s economy, that is tougher than ever. Everyone is pushing and shoving their way to the decision maker. So how do you get above the white noise? How do you stand out from the competition and get the decision maker to love you?
You have to understand what it takes to get through the door, actually connect with the decision maker and build a relationship. One that makes them want to do business with you over your competition. Before we jump into the three MUST-HAVE strategies you need to make decision makers love you, before we talk about what success looks like, let’s take a look at what it doesn’t.
Last weekend, I was skiing with good friends in Utah. One of my friends, Christina, happens to be the CEO of a large financial services corporation. Over dinner, we were talking about a party I had thrown a few months before. It’s an event I throw twice a year to say thank you to clients and friends. Christina shared that she had been introduced to another friend of mine at the party, and within moments my friend was soliciting Christina for a meeting to talk business. It really ticked Christina off. And, she shared with me she did not care what “that woman” (as she called her) was selling, she was not buying.
At first, I was pretty angry that someone I invited to a party used that opportunity to “prospect,” but then I realized she probably did not know any better. She probably thought that was how you were supposed to prospect. So, when the opportunity to meet a solid prospect face-to-face presented itself, she jumped at the chance. The problem is, she jumped using the wrong strategy and the wrong skills. And, she lost the chance to ever meet with that decision maker or turn that prospect into a customer.
If you want to turn more prospects into customers, you have to get to more decision makers. To get to more decision makers, you need a new approach. To get more decision makers to choose you over your competition, you need these 3 Innovative Strategies To Get Decision Makers Love You!
First and foremost, you need to network effectively. If you want to get to more decision makers, you first need to meet and connect with more decision makers. Networking is the most powerful of cold calls, and one of the best ways to get in front of decision makers. All too often, we wait until we are “officially” calling on companies to ask to meet with decision makers.
If you invest the time on the front end to meet decision makers where they go to socialize, gain knowledge or meet other decision makers, you will have a great opportunity to network and do it effectively. The more you work to meet decision makers before you need to sell to them, the more opportunity you will have to turn your prospects into customers.
This takes time. So, take a breath and slow down. Getting decision makers to love you is not about pushing your products or services on them. It is about building relationships. Once you find yourself (through effective networking) in positions to meet more decision makers, you need to take a step back and slow the process down.
Rather than jumping straight from introduction to business (like my friend did with Christina), you need to shift your paradigm and focus on learning about them. When we slow down and listen to people, we send a strong message that we are different from other sales people.
Listening is one of the most powerful of sales skills. When we listen, we not only find out exactly what is important to the decision maker, but also send a strong message that this relationship will always be more about them than about us. And, decision makers love sales people who are more focused on their (the decision maker’s) success than their own.
Last but not least, you need to invest first. Invest in helping your decision makers achieve their goals before you ask them to help you achieve yours. If you want to get decision makers to love you, first listen to what they need or want and then second, help them achieve it.
All too often when we meet people, we are so focused on achieving our goals and how they can help us, that we forget Stephen Covey’s golden rule of relationship building – The fastest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. Take the time to focus first on helping your prospects achieve their goal, and then watch as more of your prospects turn into customers.
Those are my strategies for getting decision makers to love you, so you turn more prospects into customers. I’d love to learn yours! Leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org