This week, I've been mainly talking to a lot of clients about closing sales. One of the things that came out of these discussions was "are you talking to the right person within the business?"
This is something that can really hamper the sales process. I don't know about you, but in my early days of selling, you'd go and meet somebody, you'd spend a lot of time building the relationship, you'd get to the point where you'd ask for the sale, and then when you do ask for the business, you find out that this person is not the one who makes the decisions.
It takes all the air out of your balloon, and you suddenly realise that all of that work that you've done so far has gone out the window, because the person you've built the relationship with just can't make those kind of decisions.
So, here's the thing - we want to find out whether they are the decision maker, without turning around and point blank asking "are you the decision maker", because that's rude!
But when we're talking to potential customers about them purchasing from us, we do need to understand their buying process, and those are the words that I actually use: what is your buying process?
Now, if you're working with a larger company this understanding is going to be necessary, because it tends to be that in the larger businesses you've got more infrastructure: you might need purchase orders, and it might need to go through various layers and echelons for the work to be approved.
Understanding that will help you to help the customer who wants your products and services get what they want.
In a smaller business when you're dealing directly with the owner then things are a little bit easier...
BUT - we should never assume! It's always best to ask that question: what is your buying process?
So that's the tips for this week: make sure you're talking to the right person to close a sale.
See you next week!