What Is The Most Important Part of the Sales Conversation
Who are you?
What do you do?
How long have you been with the company?
Do you like what I sell?
None of the above.
How well do you know the potential clients inner corporate hierarchy?
You don’t. Even if you ask there will be information lost or omitted in the translation.
You have to ask if they are the buyer for your product who has purchasing authority.
Working with a Fortune 500 company you are happy to have made an executive contact who shows an excited interest in your product or service.
You start giving him your sales pitch.
You sent him online brochures.
You guide him to understanding how you can blend your product or service into their training program.
You are proud that you are working the conversation to entrench yourself into his program.
You completed everything you need to show to prove you should work together.
He says he has to talk to his boss.
He says his boss will get the same information from an inside training department you didn’t know existed.
No touchdown. No partying. No sale.
You asked what his role was in the training department.
You didn’t ask if he had purchasing authority in the training department.
You now realize he forwarded information to his boss that makes him look great, but he didn’t SELL his boss on buying from you because every department member wants to look great to the boss.
In this case he did try to SELL to his boss, but the bosses mindset is using the in-house (most likely cheaper, but not always as effective with results) department. Bosses rarely converse with their staff about the value they are seeking with outside projects.
You will now spend dozens of hours working to find that boss because you have invested the time and resources.
Because now you are thinking…
If only the boss had the opportunity to meet me.
He knows of you. He has made up his mind without talking to you. You can’t change his mind now.
Final: You lost the opportunity to meet with your contact and his boss (the buyer). Your contact would have received accolades for bringing you in to add another dimension to get the best results. The boss would have expanded his options to improve his training program to the many department heads who are expecting excellent results.
You would have increased your odds of closing a new partnership.
This happened today. Do not let it happen tomorrow.