You've seen it all before. Your people reach someone they believe is a “good prospect.” They meet with them and figure out the prospect's problems. They discuss and uncover the prospect’s budget. They even discuss when the prospect wants the problems to be fixed. The prospect is excited, and your people get excited—the stars seem to be aligning for this deal. It’s “in the bag.”
And all of a sudden, it comes to decision time. Other "hidden" decision makers come into the picture, and the deal goes astray.
Your person's contact starts to delay making a decision, or they reveal that they are waiting on other parties at their company to make the decision. Your team has to rely on their contact to sell your product or service to other “hidden” decision makers, which is extending the sales cycle. Or, the prospect comes back saying they were told “no” by the other decision makers at their company.
The reason is simple. Your people are failing to identify the true decision makers earlier in the process and making sure they are involved from the start. This usually occurs due to one of a few common reasons:
- Your people aren’t in the regular routine of asking for decision makers to be involved.
- Your people don’t know how to identify and ask to include the decision makers from the start.
- Your people don’t view themselves on the same level as C-suite level decision makers, and don’t deserve to meet with them.
- Your people are afraid to ask their contacts to include the other decision makers in the process, because they are afraid to potentially “overstep their boundaries” or upset their contacts.
- Your people are excited to get a meeting and willing to meet with whoever they can from the prospect company because it’s a “really good prospect and opportunity” or a “really big fish” that they could possibly reel in.
A true decision maker is someone who can and will make a decision and can and will invest the money required to fix the problems they’re facing.
Work with your people on how to identify the real decision makers and how to ask for the decision makers to be involved early on. I’ll tell you straight out—that will likely require encouragement from you to grow personally and professionally, to deal with their own headtrash, as Aaron likes to call it.
Because to reach the decision makers, your people will need to believe they are on the same level with them, and that they deserve to meet with them as early as possible.