3 Ways to Navigate Multiple Decision-Makers
If you thought that people involved too many people in the sales process...it's only going to get worse after #COVID19. Nobody wants to be on the hook for spending money poorly, so people like to bring people into the sales process if for no other reason than to have someone to blame if they don't see the value in it.
When I think about the B2B sales process, I break it down to engagement (getting the meeting), meeting (executing the meeting), and proposal (delivering the proposal). I know that sounds super basic, but, mentally, it's important for me to separate those things out and it's even more important to create a plan of attack for each.
Here's the most important thought before we get into the tactics. You need to try to DIRECTLY influence as many people who'll be involved in the decision as you can. You're the expert, the more you ask other people to sell to other people, the less sales you make.
Keeping that as the outline, here's 3 ways to navigate multiple decision-makers:
ENGAGEMENT: As part of the process in scheduling the meeting, make sure to ask 'Is there anyone else who should be involved in this meeting?' I don't want to make the person I'm talking to feel not important...but I also want to avoid having to have 8 different meetings (at best) or getting the sneak attack 'We're going to pass, no one else seemed too excited about it.'
MEETING: Those who have gone through my sales training know that I have 7 questions I ask in every meeting. One of them is either 'What is the decision-making process for something like this?' or it's sister question, 'What is the budgeting process for something like this?' If you haven't got that information in the engagement process (shame on you!), it's still critical you get it here to properly ensure you can impact everyone who'll touch the sales process.
PROPOSAL: This one's the most important. When you write a proposal, DO NOT WRITE IT FOR THE PERSON YOU'RE GIVING IT TO. We can easily explain what we're putting into the proposal to the person who's been engaged all along. Assume he's going to show this to someone else...and write this proposal for that someone else. Don't just include inventory...include the way that the business or person will use that inventory. If someone is just shown a price tag with no reasoning, they are more inclined to be conservative and say 'no.' Including the reasoning in your proposal will be a good reminder for the person/people you're directly selling to...but it will be a great sales tool for when they engage other people.
Keeping conscious about including other people and selling all the way to other people will increase your B2B sales. So sell like it!