Get Access to the Right Decision-Makers

10 Min

Often, your contact in the sales process isn’t the final decision maker.

Even if your solution is a fit, if you can’t gain access to the right people — key decision-makers and influencers — you might not sell your solution.

Gain access to the right people so you can

sell to the right people.

So, how do you uncover the key decision-makers and influencers at your prospect’s organization?

Simply ask your contact:

“Who else, other than you, is responsible for making this decision?”

Once you learn that there is a decision maker or influential party that

you don’t have access to, ask your contact to put you in touch.

For example, Emilia just learned that her contact’s manager, Rich, will be making the final decision on what solution they will go with.

So she asks her contact, Julio, “Should we set up a meeting where Rich can ask you questions and I can be there to support you if you need it?”

If your contact says yes, set up a meeting with the decision-maker and continue your sales process.

Often, when you ask your contact to put you in touch with a decision maker they’ll say no. That’s typical and understandable.

They might not want to take up the decision maker’s time, or they might not want to “lose control” of the process.

If that’s the case, coach them on your solution. Walk them through every question the decision-maker might ask them.

When Julio tells Emilia that he can’t set up a meeting between her and Rich, Emilia says:

“Let’s set up time to go through what you’re going to present to Rich. That way we can both make sure that you’re armed with the information you need.”

Emilia sets up time to role-play with Julio. She asks him questions about her solution that she’s heard in past sales meetings and makes sure Julio can answer those questions as well as Emilia can.

Julio realizes he doesn't have the expertise to talk about the solution, so he sets up a meeting between Emilia and Rich.

You may never get access to a certain decision maker. 

For example, say a member of a decision committee is going to be on maternity leave for the next six months.

If so, you need to know that they won't be able to change the decision after it's made.

In the case of the decision maker on maternity leave, that could mean ensuring that they give someone else on the committee a proxy vote.

Do not move past the Decision Step until you have spoken to the right people in your prospect’s organization, until you are confident that your main contact can “sell” your solution internally, or until you are sure a decision maker won't railroad the process.


Time for a quiz.

Leon recently learned that his contact, Bethany, is actually a part of a committee that makes decisions on new equipment at her medical testing lab. What should he do now that he knows that Bethany isn’t the final decision maker?

Quiz 1 of 1

What should Leon do now that he knows that Bethany isn’t the final decision-maker?

a
Ask Bethany if she can set up a meeting to introduce Leon to the committee.
b
Coach Bethany on how to “sell” his solution internally.
c
Disqualify the prospect. Their sales process is too complicated.
d
Demand that Bethany put him in touch with the right people.

The correct answer is AAsk Bethany if she can set up a meeting to introduce Leon to the committee.

There’s a good chance Bethany will say no. If this happens, Leon needs to make sure that Bethany can sell his solution internally (although talking directly to key decision makers and influencers is still preferable).

Take the Next Step:

Talk to your main contact. Ask them if you can meet with any decision makers they have identified for you.

Lesson complete