Picture this situation:
On your last sales call, after you complete your presentation, the customer, Sue, tells you that she likes your product and wants to buy it, but she has to get approval from upper management. When you meet up again a week later, Sue tells you the sad news, “I couldn’t get management to go along.”
This sale was not lost because of something you did, but rather something you didn’t do. You lost the sale because your customer couldn’t sell (convince) upper management the same way you sold it to her. Sue did not have the technique to sell to the decision maker in a way that convinced them to buy. When your customer says she has to solicit approval from management, or present your proposal to a committee, the role of salesperson has shifted from you to another person.
Before you send Sue off to present your selling proposition, you must first train your messenger. Help this person organise the materials in sequence and format, with emphasis on benefits, so that she can deal with the known customer concerns in an understandable and convincing way. You and your direct contact must forecast the questions and any objections the key decision maker might have and formulate the most effective answers.
To be certain that the sale doesn’t rely on the speech-making skills of your contact, give them a fail-safe approach using graphics and handouts and maybe even a explainer video. Whatever you offer needs to be self-explanatory and secure the sale or at least solicit sufficient interest that you get an invitation to present your sales pitch in person.
For the best possible outcome when selling
Deal with the person who makes the buying decisions
One of the top 10 reasons salespeople lose sales is because they haven’t been talking to the key decision maker. Find out who makes the buying decisions and deal with that person whenever possible.
Find creative ways to access the decision maker
For example, invite the decision maker, along with other important people to a special viewing of your products – and send a formal invitation.
As a last resort, train the customer to present the proposal
Help the messenger with materials, a presentation that emphasises the benefits, and effective responses to likely questions.
“If you want to sell, you have to connect to the person with the authority to buy. Otherwise you’re spinning your wheels.” – Robert Magnam