Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ignoring Buyers

A lot of times sales people will dismiss opportunities because they only want to deal with the 'decision maker.'

In today's business world, one person does not make a decision in isolation. They will rely on a team to collaborate with when making a decision. It's important to treat each and every person that you meet with as if they have the authority to give you a sale. You'll learn a lot.

I was out making sales calls with a wholesale florist sales rep. Wholesale florists sell flowers to florists who in turn sell them at retail. We were making calls together so I could provide some sales coaching.

We called on a florist and the owner was not in. I asked the rep what he learned. He replied "nothing, the owner's not in, I have to come back another day." I suggested we go back in and talk to the woman behind the counter.

We asked her questions as if she were in authority to make a decision. We learned that the owner rarely came in, took his summers off to stay in his vacation home and relied heavily on his designer to make purchase decisions. They had a relationship with a competitor but the competitor was sometimes late in making deliveries.

By asking a few questions to a 'non-decision maker' we sure learned a whole lot.

Questions are your best friend in sales. Remember to listen more than you talk and you'll win each time.

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