I was recently having a talk with a friend, who is a carrier, when he brought up a predicament he was in. He said he could think of about 4-5 potential customers that he couldn’t get beyond a certain point. With each of these relationships he was forming, he didn’t know if he should continue pressing into them, put his focus elsewhere, or go straight to the head decision maker. I am sure this scenario may be sounding familiar to you, especially if you are in sales. There could be a million and one reasons why these individuals he was talking to kept on pushing the decision down the road or were not even bringing up the solutions that he was offering to their boss. Whatever those reasons may be, figuring out how to get over this obstacle is crucial.
The only way, I repeat, the only way you can get over this obstacle is by making that individual you are talking with the hero. That person needs to be the hero of their company that helped save $100,000. That person needs to be the hero that brought the solution that solved all of shippings issues. That person needs to be the hero that came up with the idea to simplify the supply chain. As a salesman, if you want to get to the decision maker, you need to make that initial contact look like a hero to their boss.
You need to change the way you bring up those great little facts about your company. That individual that is keeping you from getting to the next step honestly doesn’t care that you are saving them money, time, effort, or the fact that you are almost always on time. That person does care however that you are giving them the opportunity to let there boss know that they just saved their company $100,000 over the course of the year as the markets are tightening up and most companies spend is going up by 15%, or that their end customers will have a better experience of service and as their trust grows in the company, they will end up purchasing more product, which means more sales.You need to learn to start framing facts so that the potential customer is the hero. Remember, you are there to make them… look… good.
What if, after all of this, they still don’t bring your proposal to the real decision maker? You need to frame this next part carefully. You need to show empathy for their situation and ask them if you can go directly to the decision maker yourself. You need to see if you could email or call that person directly, BUT before you go ahead and do that, you need to learn how to frame whatever you are about to say in such a way that still makes the initial contact look like a hero to their company. You can’t call the real decision maker and talk down about your initial contact. That is a sure fire way to never get the business. You also shouldn’t just go over their head because the story that may end up being told about you to the real decision maker may be one that is fabricated and keeps you from ever getting the business.
No matter which route you choose, you need to make that initial contact look like an absolute hero to their company. If you can do that, and you make it to the real decision maker, you will start to close on more deals and earn more customers.