When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
One thing that I remember from my first sales training class when I was working in door-to-door sales for an office supply and equipment distributor in NYC is the in-house “sales guru” emphatically teaching us that we need to be enthusiastic about our products and that everyone needs what we have. Talk about old school.
I’d like to clarify something. Often times, going directly to the assumed decision maker might not always be your best bet. Chances might be that the person you think is the decision maker might kill your deal without feeling the true value of what you can provide.
Candidly, they might not necessarily be the one who influences a deal to move ahead.
Going Too High in an Organization Too Fast Could Ruin A Deal
There have been instances when I’ve gone too high up the ladder to start o a sales process and killed a deal before it even started.
But wait, I thought the point of this was to get to the ultimate decision maker?
And it is. With the caveat, that the timing of when you get to the decision maker has everything to do with how a deal unfolds.
To use a spider web analogy (and very much the same in just about any natural habitat), you need a team a series of anchor points that hold up the web.
Every anchor point or individual strand has a particular role to play throughout the sales process– you have radial, spiral, circular threads…the list goes on. Metaphorically, each of these threads might be an individual involved at each stage of your sales process and then there’s the spider that occupies the center of the web…that’s the ultimate decision maker.
And so it is when you embark on developing your strategy on getting to the Decision Maker.
Where does the problem lie on their priority scale?
One thing that I notice often is the assertion that the problem you’re solving is just as important for your ideal client to solve.
It’s important to note that it is vital for it to be a real problem that actually exists.
However, what’s even more important is to identify where the problem sits on the priority scale. And there are instances where the impact of the problem is so acute that it might not be an issue strong enough to put resources, man- hours and energy behind to solve.
Moreover, along those same lines it’s important to note that the emotional impact of the problem might not also be a effecting the end-all decision maker. Therefore, making it easier for them to shift to other pressing problems that are costing the system more money, therefore, leaving you and your solution in a stalled period.
This happens more than healthcare solutions providers are willing to admit.
Which is why it can sometimes be harmful to a deal when just going directly to the decision maker.
Often times, solutions providers place a large emphasis on the top-level executives who are the final decision maker and control the budget. However, there are various levels of decision influencers throughout the sales process.
What you must understand is that connecting with decision influencers can have a major impact on the trajectory of a deal when you are not in the room.
Focusing on decision makers only is a mistake. Instead, focus on decision influencers and decision makers so that when you are not in the room, you’re properly represented.
This lends itself to strategy and your approach of setting in various anchor points to your web.
Go back and examine your web. Where are the weak anchor points in your web?