I’ve spent many days in Sales Training sessions where the usually very enthusiastic sales trainer
has absolutely insisted that in all major sales you have to meet the M.A.N.
For the uninitiated that does not necessarily mean a male person merely the person
male or female with the Money, Authority (to buy) and the Need . Hence M.A.N.
The trainers are right. When you can, you must meet the M.A.N.
However you now see a caveat to that from me and that’s the “When you can”.
Sometimes in large and medium sized companies the MAN does not want to see you.
Sometimes the people you are dealing with are a little frightened of her themselves and
they may not be sufficiently comfortable with you and your colleagues (you are after all Salespeople!!) to introduce you all to the MAN.
If the MAN’s door isn’t open and you can’t see her, you now have three alternatives.
- Qualify the opportunity out because you will never meet the MAN
- Risk making yourself unpopular with your contacts and going straight to the MAN.
- Delegating responsibility to your contact and assisting them to sell internally.
I have never personally gone for the first option.
Perhaps my sales funnel has never been full enough of prospects you say,
and I have only on a few occasions tried the second option with mixed results.
That therefore leaves us option 3.
If we are going to go for that option we do need to be careful with our assumptions here.
There are many dangerous assumptions that we can make here and they’ll all get us nowhere.
- That your prospects have a robust process of building a business case for doing anything different.
This could be like buying a new product or outsourcing a service or whatever your company does.
- That your prospects have a method or criteria for choosing between possible suppliers
- That the person you are working with in your prospect is a decent SALES person.
- That the person you are spending time with knows the buying process and it’s people
That means that we can take option 3 but we need to do it professionally.
We need to DELEGATE responsibility not ABDICATE responsibility.
Let me explain what I mean.
Abdicating responsibility would be to send a boiler plate proposal that talks about us and not them.
Adding the standard sales blurb about our solutions in general not specifics and a quotation.
Then we can follow up with a phone call or an email a week until we think that they might now be thinking of us as stalkers not sales people…
That would be ABDICATING responsibility …
DELEGATING responsibility to our contact is very different and we make the following assumptions
- Assume that they have NOT built a business case for buying your product or service or anything like it.
This means that you will have to build a business case using their numbers, which you will have to help to dig out,
for both potential costs and potential business benefits.
This exercise will have to answer the WHY? And The WHY NOW? questions
A cynical and suspicious Finance Director, who will be part of the decision making process
somewhere along the lines, will want these answered.
- Assume that the person we are working with is NOT a sales person.
They have never been on a sales training workshop and may not have presented their ideas before.
That means we need to give them a PowerPoint based presentation not a WORD document
This will be more useful if they are going to present their idea to someone.
Your quotation is important but the quantified benefits are much more important and the references need to be in there too.
You need to ask your contact to find out what the buying process is and who is involved.
Tailoring the presentation that your contact will make to make sure the messages resonate with all in the process will exercise your sales skills.
- Assume this presentation must also have enough detail on WHY YOU?
to make it obvious to an uninvolved person that you are the right choice.
Probably best to use their logos on the slide deck rather than make it in your corporate colours that could appear biased ?
A final thought … If marketing knew that this was how the majority of your sales completed would they build you some different tools to use on your journey with the prospects??