Success Secret #2

Remember that I said these were in no particular order? I don’t know where this one ranks, but it amazes me how many otherwise decent salespeople don’t call at the top of an organization. It’s OK to be nice to the receptionist. It’s acceptable to get information from a middle manager. I don’t pitch until I’m at the top.

I was at a Business Expo on Wednesday. I was totally amazed when I overheard the following exchange after I introduced Dan to Mr. Jones, (the company president).

Dan: “Mr. Jones, I don’t do business with your company, but I’ve been trying to.”

Mr. Jones: “Who’ve you been talking to.”

Dan: “So and so, they’ve got my proposal, but they’re not returning my calls.”

Mr. Jones: “Here’s my personal card. Call me personally. I’m at the top of operations and I’ll move this along”

How hard is it to figure out that the person that Dan gave the proposal to isn’t the decision maker? They have to ask permission. In this case, I am especially perturbed. Dan does a lot of things right. Why is he not calling on the company president? Call on the person that can write the check or tell somebody, “Write the check and bring it to me so I can sign it.” That’s my test.

If I’m talking (not pitching) to someone and they ask how I do what I do, I ask something like, “Before we do that, can I ask what do you do about it now?” We have a conversation where we talk about the problems that they have related to the stuff that I do. Eventually I get to ask, “So, pretend we talk some more and you decide, ‘Wow, this is awesome. How much?’ I tell you. You write a check and we do business?” As soon as I hear, “Not exactly.” I am done until I get in front of the right person. I am done. I am done. I am done.

They might say something like show me and I’ll tell the decision maker.  I am done.

They might say something like I make all those decisions.  I am done.

They might say something like we have a committee. I am done.

Nobody can sell my stuff like me. There are dozens of ways to get to the right person and my finger is getting tired, but I will walk away before I will pitch the wrong person. I never hear, “I have to ask somebody else.” and I never want to.

Remember Dan? One of the things that he doesn’t know is that in an earlier conversation, I overheard Mr. Jones telling somebody else that it was his job to say, “No.” If you’re gonna get a no, don’t you want it sooner rather than later? Do you see that if you get a yes from Mr. Jones, it’s probably a done deal.

Don’t pitch, propose, close or even care until you’re at the top and if you can’t get to the top, go prospecting.

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