How many times have you gotten in front of an excited prospect and delivered your presentation?
Sales managers typically insist that you whip out your presentation or demonstration as soon as possible. After all, it's your chance to show someone new all about what you do!
So you deliver your presentation. The prospect is blown away. And then they say it:
"I love it--I just have to talk to someone else."
The "someone else" could be their significant other, CEO, accountant, astrologer, dog or who knows who else. The point is, you know right now that you are NEVER getting this order. That terrible sinking feeling rushes through you. It's over. You get disappointed, anxious, and then upset.
What happened? Who's in charge around here?!
First, if you don't qualify before you sell, all you'll do is run into prospects who can't buy. And that will feel just like our old pal Rejection.
Second, if you don't find out who the real decision maker(s) are, you will constantly encounter prospects who waste your time. This will make you ineffective.
Being ineffective and feeling rejected are two things that quickly add up to "I quit!"
A big part of your job as a salesperson is to find out whether this prospect is qualified to buy from you. They may not be, at all. They may be part of a group who all need to be involved. They may have one special person they bounce every idea off before they commit. Whichever it is, you must find out before you present!
Once you present, you have given the best you have. Getting that level of excitement and interest back is impossible. So don't do it until you know for sure that everyone who is involved in making the decision--even if they are heavily-involved stakeholders, and not strictly decision makers--is in the room or on the call and all of their concerns have been addressed. You must understand the prospect's decision making process.
Who's responsible for finding out what the prospect's decision making process is?
Who's in charge around here?
Not your prospect. Not their decision maker(s). Not their stakeholders.
You. You're in charge around here.
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Confirming the DMP (decision making process), can be as simple as:
‘I don’t suppose you could tell me who would be in the decision making process if your company were looking at purchasing/changing _____ product?”
By doing larger enterprise-sales, knowing who the users and influencers are in the sales cycle can be as important as the key decision maker. But the advice here by Jason is spot on; don’t get into sales cycles with people who have the interest but no authority to buy from you!