Are You Talking to the Most Powerful Decision Maker?

For years I had determined that title was not necessarily an accurate clue as  to the power a person possessed. Yet, it was more of a gut feeling rather than an objective fact. So, I looked for an objective source to validate this feeling about decision makers.

The most common methods used by b2b sales people is to find a title within the organization that appears to be a match to the authority needed to buy or budget for your solution. Again, not true all the time. There are many variables used to make this guess plausible for us.

Variables we commonly look at include numbers of people reporting to this person or titles of others reporting directly to this person. Who does this person report to? Other factors such as length of time with the company have been used. And, the old catch all – advice from others who sell to this organization.

Yet, there is a key factor to uncover early in the discussions with any titled individual to uncover their true level of power. This factor is

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How to Share Business Experience with a Top Level Prospect

Okay, several of you have asked me…

“What Do I Talk About with a Prospect, If I’m Not Talking About My Product or Service?”

I will get to a logical progression for talking about business results in a moment. Before sharing this information, I want to remind you to forget about all your old school or traditional sales training. Remember, no matter how bad you want to start your sales “pitch” there is no selling allowed with the top level prospect. If you must pitch something, pitch your old sales techniques and tactics in the trash before entering the room.

This simple progression is designed to show your prospect you are experienced and have done this before – providing the credibility and confidence they need to even think about moving forward in their buying process. Yes, they do want to buy, they do not want to be sold.

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Your Choice – Be a Peer or Sales Person

As we move deeper into the world of selling to the top level people in prospect and customer organizations, you must be ready to a critical choice. This choice is about being and acting like a Peer or Sales Person.

I realize you are a sales person and probably have a business card with the words Sales Person on it. While it is time to change that to Business Advisor or Consultant.

Here is the issue. Top level people do not want to be sold anything by anybody. What they want to do is buy from someone they believe is there to help them, advise them or provide expertise to them on a topic of interest – to them – not to you or your company. Interesting situation you are placed into by the top level decision makers.

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Four Reasons to Sell to Top Level Executives

Yes, selling to someone other than a purchasing agent is what I’m talking about today. The plain truth is you must be making an effort to get to the top level executives if you want to remain in the sales game.

The internet and all these new buying at low cost gizmos are taking over the good ole boys network of showing up to sell to the purchasing agent. Taking them to play golf and three martini lunches is now being blocked by their organizations ethics groups and the negative consequences of such actions is no longer without teeth.

Okay, this is part of the new information I promised, so here it is. By selling to the top levels of executives, you can have some control over these four factors…

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