Find the Floating Decision Maker

January 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Sales 

The person who has the final say in the buying process is not the same in every sale – they “float” throughout an organization. To correctly identify this critical part of the buying process, ask yourself how the sale is likely to be perceived in terms of these four variables.

1. The Dollar Amount of the Sale. Generally speaking, the higher the dollar amount, the higher the Economic Buyer role will float.

2. Business Conditions. Hard times cause the Economic Buyer role to float upward. The reverse happens when the economy is good.

3. Experience with You and Your Firm. For first sales to a new account, you should look upward in the organization for final approval. Once you’ve established a positive track record, you might be able to get final approval further down the corporate ladder.

4. Potential Organizational Impact. Since Economic Buying Influences are generally concerned with long-range effects, the role might float upward whenever the organization feels that your proposal will have a significant, long-term impact.

Since corporate structures are in a constant flux, begin your strategy by looking not for people but for roles they play in your particular sales goal. Identify where the final approval really is. Reaching too low or too high in the organization can tend to block you. It is critical to know who you’re selling to. Most of the time you don’t need a CEO, but rather someone under him.

Getting to an Economic Buyer is a top priority. But getting to them is only part of the battle. Remember that preparation is key to having a meaningful conversation that will get you closer to the sale.

Miller Heiman is the proven leader and innovator in sales execution, with more than 30 years of helping businesses grow profitable sales by increasing their close rates, lowering the cost of sales and reducing the length of the sales cycle. The company’s common framework of easily repeatable methodologies, combined with a tradition of research and thought leadership, helps firms of all sizes win complex sales. Miller Heiman is a worldwide leader in sales performance, with programs in 20 languages and corporate offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. For more information, visit http://www.millerheiman.com.

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