Presenting a product or service to someone who cannot say “Yes!” and is not the primary decision-maker is one of the biggest wastes of time in the sales game.
At certain times in the sales process, it can be appropriate to present to someone who can only recommend your products. It’s crucial to be aware that every time you present to a non-decision maker, you lose an essential edge in the sales process: CONTROL.
Some say that selling is a numbers game — if you see enough people, you will eventually make enough sales. Many knowledgeable veterans don’t subscribe to this philosophy, however.
Fear of rejection is one of the significant causes of failure. If your sales strategy is to see lots of people, regardless of how qualified they are, then you’re setting yourself up for even more rejection.
Save your time and energy for connecting with the top decision-makers.
When calling a new prospect, ask him or her, “Who is the person in your organization who makes the buying decision for (or about)________? And then, “Who is that person’s supervisor?” Then say thank-you and call the supervisor. It could be the president, a senior VP, or even the CEO — it doesn’t matter. You’re merely looking for the ultimate decision-maker at that location (i.e., branch, division, subsidiary, etc.). Avoid leaving a voice mail message.
Remember — you have to get the decision-makers attention before you can create interest and desire in your product or service. So before calling, make sure you know what that person’s dominant problem, challenge, or need is that your product or service will solve. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up logging another failed cold call.
Do some detective work before you call the ultimate decision-maker. The best approach is to work primarily from referrals. This can save time and resources as well as speed up the sales cycle.