Sell Smarter 17: Smarter Decision-​Maker Identification

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Sell Smarter 17: Smarter Decision-​Maker Identification”

Hello there, I'm Doug Lessells. Welcome to the Sell Smarter podcast from SalesFuel! We're taking your sales to the next level every month with our top tips and winning strategies so you can reenergize and engage in just three short minutes.

According to King of Sales Jeffrey Gitomer, one of the biggest sales barriers is identifying the real decision-​maker. Deb Calvert, President of People First Productivity Solutions, agrees. These sales pros share two questions to help find who you should be making your sales pitches to without damaging your potential sale.

  • "Who will you be collaborating with to make your final decision?" — Calvert says this question will not only reveal if you're talking to the real decision-​making, but also how the company's decision-​making process is handled. Also, if you're not speaking to the decision-​maker, you'll quickly learn who you need to be reaching out to in the future. 
  • "Who pulls the trigger?" — The wording of this question, suggested by Gitomer, positions the decision as an event that happens in the future, and prevents any embarrassment that may result from you revealing that you may not be talking to the decision-​maker at that moment. Remember, your friendliness extends to the entirety of the prospective company, not just the decision-​maker. Plus, Gitomer points out, you can have the person you're currently speaking with introduce you to the decision-maker.

Identifying the decision-​maker is only a portion of what your need to do to land your sale. Here are two more questions Gitomer recommends asking to learn all you can about the decision-​making process:

  • "How will the decision be made?" - Gitomer describes this question as "powerful" and "pressureless." It shows that you're eager to learn about the prospect's buying process and will give you more material to aid in your pitch without seeming pushy.
  • "Then what?" — If the prospect's answer to your first question doesn't go as deep into the process as you would have liked, ask this question. You can ask it as many times as you need to in order to gain insight into the entirety of the decision-​making process. By knowing how the decision-​makers choose who to buy from, you've just given yourself the upper hand by knowing how to sell to them.

That's it for this edition of the Sell Smarter podcast. Remember, you can always get more great insights every day at SalesFuel​.com and the SalesFuel mobile app.