October 12

Struggling To Get To The Decision Maker?

5 Proven Strategies To Close Your Sales Gap

One of the worst mistakes we can make as sales professionals is to put in all that work and effort of making the calls, getting the meetings, putting together the presentation only to realize we have been pitching the wrong person.

Despite all of our efforts, all of our good work, we finally realize the person sitting in front of us, the one we have made the connection with, is not the person who can actually pull the trigger, approve the budget and sign on the dotted line to ensure our deal can close. It is a painful realization.

One of the first rules of closing more business in sales is to make sure when you are pitching the deal you are pitching to the right person. The person with the authority and the sense of urgency to get the deal done.

Listen, we have all been there, right? I know I have. Early on in my career, I spent more than a year and countless time and energy on landing a huge client. The client was perfect for me, and I thought I was perfect for them.  After months of dinners, sales calls and value add ideas and strategies it was time for the pitch, my client was finally ready to buy.

I put together the perfect presentation. Working with marketing to not only get the right information, answer all of their questions, but make it all look so professional and appealing. After a two-hour presentation, I was sure this deal was in the bag, only to have my prospect tell me that he had to run my proposal past his boss to get the final approval.

Now you may think no big deal, right? But I had never met his boss, never laid eyes on her. Worse than that, my competitor had. My competitor had been spending her time and energy on the decision maker, while I was spending my time and energy on someone who would use my product, but not someone who had the authority to purchase it.

It was a hard lesson to learn, and one believe me I only had to learn once. Because sometimes falling on your face and learning a painful lesson is the best way to ensure you do not repeat it!

Again, it is one of the most important lessons in sales, getting to the decision maker. So how do you ensure you are talking to the right person, and how do you close the sales gap?  Here are five strategies that will help you get there.

  1. Know The Landscape – before you even begin the sales process you need to know the landscape. Understand the organizational structure and do your homework to identify the right person you should be calling on. Knowing the landscape includes not only understanding who the decision maker is, but who you need to connect with to get to the decision maker, and who the decision maker will be making the decision for. In other words, who are the players that will benefit from your product and service and what is their influence over the decision maker? A deeper understanding of who the decision maker is, who they are making a decision for, and who you need to connect with to get to the decision maker all needs to be part of your plan before you ever make the first sales call.
  1. Build Your Reputation – if you want to get through the door with more decision makers, if you want your phone calls and emails answered, then you need to be someone decision makers have heard of and about. Decision makers are busy, and you are not the only person vying for their time. If you want to get a seat at the table, then you have to give them a reason to meet with you. Invest the time to build your reputation in the marketplace, position yourself as a thought-leader in the industry, and someone they believe that if they met with it would be well worth their investment.
  1. Tap Into Your Network– bar none, the fastest way to get through the door with any decision maker is to have someone they know, like and trust open that door for you. Take the time to figure out in your network who is connected to, or who has done business with the exact decision maker you are trying to get through the door with. Now, understand, you will need to return the favor. Don’t be one of those salespeople that asks others to connect them but does not reach out and offer to do the same.
  1. Use Your Social Proof – chances are you have done business with some of their competitors, vendors or others in their industry that have strong reputations. One of the best methods to get to the decision maker is to use social proof. A strong testimonial well placed in an email will help motivate the decision makers to return your call. Testimonials that show results, with names and titles attached are incredibly effective in showing your decision maker why spending time with you is well-worth the investment.
  1. Get Personal – and last but not least, remember your decision makers are people too. They have kids playing soccer, love a great round of golf, go to church, and volunteer on boards for causes they care about. Figure out who they are when they are not at work, and put the time, effort, and energy into connecting with them outside of a professional setting.

If you want to make sales easier and more effective, then make sure you are starting off engaging with the right person. The person who will not only benefit from your product or service, but the one with the the authority and desire to buy it.

Want to learn more about getting to the decision maker and getting more deals to close? Then join me for a FREE MASTER CLASS, 3 Failproof Strategies To Get You In The Door: What Every Salesperson Needs To Know To Get To The Decision Maker. Sign up now!

Meridith Elliott Powell

Voted one of the Top 15 Business Growth Experts to watch by Currency Fair, highly engaging corporate motivational keynote speaker Meridith Elliott Powell delivers a cutting-edge message, rooted in real-life examples and real-world knowledge. Meridith’s presentations are full of powerful content, highly interactive, and fun. She helps her clients learn the leadership development, sales and business growth strategies to turn uncertainty to competitive advantage.

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