Your product is a perfect fit with what your client needs. Your prices are entirely reasonable, and you couldn’t have given a better sales pitch. Why did the deal fall through? If you didn’t impress the right person, your efforts went to waste. Next time, follow these tips to identify a key decision maker in an organization to impress when trying to sell your products.
Map the Organization
It’s important to know who you are working with when proposing a sale. More importantly, it’s vital to know how they fit into the company. Do they have the ability to approve contracts? If so, what dollar threshold are they limited to? Who do they report to, and what is their manager’s approval level? Does your main contact oversee employees, and what are these employees’ functions or roles? Prior to delivering your pitch, sketch out an organizational chart based on the information you know about a client. This helps you visualize the right people to talk to and make the best use of your time.
Gather Online Intel
Leverage online resources to get more information. How long has the person you’re working with been with the company? What is their background? How many professional endorsements do they have? The idea is to get a sense of what your contact can do within their company. They may not be in a position of power. However, they may have strong connections within their company. Another technique is to leverage common connections. Check to see what professional contacts you have in common, and reach out to your network to get an idea of what your contact does, where they fall within the company, and if they have the ear of any key decision makers.
Bigger Picture Research
Sometimes, it makes more sense to take a step back when trying to find details. In this case, spend time researching and learning more about the company you’re working with. What are their buying policies? What is their philosophy to buying regarding price and quality? What other vendors do they work with? Map out a sketch of their procurement process to understand the chain of events that has to happen for you to close the deal. Once you have this mapped, you can start piecing together who within the company performs each of the steps and who is the right person for you to work with.
Befriend the Gatekeeper
For you to get in touch with the actual decision-maker, you have to cross paths with at least one other person. Often, this person plays a gatekeeper role in keeping certain people away. Instead of seeing this extra layer of defence as something in your way, view it as an opportunity. Secretaries or administrative assistants know who within the company is best to get in touch with. In addition, they often have the strongest relationships. Although they’re initially blocking your path, understand the importance they have in guiding you to the right person.
A deal is only finalized when it is 100% done. You can bring a deal as far as you possibly can, but you need a key decision maker from your client’s company to bring it all the way. Next time you’re working with a client, get to know their company and staff members so you understand who you’re dealing with. By doing so, you might save yourself time and avoid being rejected all because you weren’t working with a key decision maker.