Nowadays, it’s rare to sell a product on a single phone call. Times have changed, and sales have become more complex. But what makes them complex? What are the factors you need to consider when selling to corporations? Today I’ll share with you what makes sales complex.
What Makes Sales Complex #1: Multiple Decision Makers
Most sales require more than one decision maker. Sometimes you’ll need to convince a technician, strategic director, and financier to buy. You will need to adapt your selling style to suit each individual, and only when most/all parties are convinced will you secure the deal.
When approaching corporations, ask who else the solution will affect. Find out what their decision making process is, and who controls the budget. Think of these questions in advance, and make them a part of your consultative process.
What Makes Sales Complex #2: Conflicting Interests
What’s good for the company may not be good for the individual. I recently spoke to a company that manufactures quality parts for machines. Their value proposition is that their products prevent costly breakdowns. The problem is however, that their clients’ engineers may want machines to break down. If there are no malfunctions, they may lose their jobs!
Consider this factor when managing your time. Who should you be spending the most time with? Do they have decision making influence? Is it in their interests to help you secure the sale?
What Makes Sales Complex #3: Power Hides
You cannot rely on titles alone to find decision makers. I once heard a story of a receptionist who was rudely treated by a sales consultant. They went over the woman’s head to reach the business owner, only to discover that she was his wife… The sales consultant was immediately escorted out of the building.
Influence can come from the most unlikely sources. You may want to start prospecting with people who have the appropriate title, but carefully observe their interactions with others in the company. Your intuition will play a key role in discerning a person’s clout within a business. Most importantly, always treat every person you meet with the utmost of respect!
Key principle: Always think “what’s in it for them?”
Complex sales are ultimately made up of individuals. Treat every person you meet well, and constantly think about how you can make their lives a little better. Once you have earned enough favour and trust with those people, you will win the deal.
When selling in a complex environment, remember to plan for multiple stakeholders, conflicting interests, and finding where power lies. Ultimately, treat every person like they are of great value (they are, after all!), and the complex sale will become much simpler!
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Filmed in Chadstone, Melbourne