Too many times I have lost sales due to not having all the decision makers at the appointment. This upsets me greatly.
When I qualify people, either on the phone or somewhere in your sales process, it is so important to ensure you have all the DM’s (Decision Makers) available to attend the meeting. I usually ask something like:
“apart from yourself [name] is there anyone else involved in decisions at this level of the business?”
I need to get really clear on the answer here and probe further to find out if it is a wife or husband in the background. Many times when selling to owners of small to medium sized businesses I find that there is a “significant other” sitting in the background doing the books for example. I need to have them present in the meeting. Imagine the business owner coming home and telling his partner that he just hired a Coach for the business to improve things. What’s the first question that comes out – “how much is that going to cost?”. This is a cover question that really means, we are having trouble paying all the bills already, how the hell are we going to pay for that one?!
Others to watch out for are the Silent Partners, usually a parent who might have bankrolled them into the business or they have handed the business to their daughter or son and are still holding the puppet strings behind the scenes, no matter how much the prospect thinks they now run things.
I have had “The Accountant” pop up too. This is when I know things are not going so well and the Accountant wants to watch every dollar. Watch out for this one too.
Whatever the case – MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THEM AT THE APPOINTMENT, otherwise they default to being a sales person for you when they get home and we know thats not going to work.
— Si Harris