There is one constant in sales - for us to be successful, we need to close and close well.
What does it take to close? The subject of this Tip is one of the most basic factors associated with closing - we need to identify and gain access to the decision maker.
Although a basic concept, how many of us have spent a long and unsuccessful selling cycle trying to get a deal done, only to look back some time later and realize that it was never going to happen because we never had the real decision maker involved?
Probably too many of us...
There are typically multiple people involved in the decision, and several who may be claiming to be the decision maker. We think of the decision maker as the person who has the interest, ability and budget to buy our value. We also think of the decision maker as the person who can say "yes" when others say "no", and "no when others say "yes". As a rule, these people very rarely claim to be the decision maker. They are much more likely to be the people who people who say something like, "My people will make this decision".
These definitions set a high bar, which means we really need to get to the right person. When doing our research, we want to ask:
What are the key steps in the decision process?
Who are the people involved in each of the steps?
Who holds the budget for this initiative?
Who will make the final recommendation?
Who will bless the final recommendation?
Of course, all of this is easier if we have a coach or multiple coaches who can give us real insight as to how the decisions are made and who will make or approve the final decision.
All of us want to improve our close rate and reduce our selling cycles. The best way to do that is to identify the real decision maker, get in front of them, deliver our message and ask for the business.