It is an axiom of sales to find the decision maker and the person who signs the checks and you will increase your probability of success. The counterpart to that axiom is you must develop a relationship with the decision maker as well.
During one of our coaching sessions at a sales meeting, a sales person said he ran into the new CEO of one of his accounts at a local restaurant. They had a brief conversation. Apparently the CEO was looking to buy a home in the area that ironically the companies CEO lived.
As the story goes, the sales person was struggling at the account with a small percentage of the total business available. He asked how he might capitalize on his chance meeting with the new CEO.
I suggested asking his CEO to call the new CEO, welcome him to the community and offer to share his experiences as a home owner in the desired area.
The two CEOs met and instantly hit it off with the focus on purchasing a home as the center piece of their discussions. Their common ground over time led to conversations about the business and as you would expect things improved relative to the sales person securing a greater percentage of the business.
The take away is that sales people need to look for opportunities to connect with customers and prospects on a human and personal level. The higher up these connections are the greater the probability of positively influencing business relationships.
The final principle is sales people need to put aside their egos and use senior management whenever possible to develop relationships with their counterparts at critical customers and prospects. The strategy of having deep and wide relationships with your accounts is a fundamental of world class selling.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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