More and more these days, decision makers hid behind their assistants or other influencers.
Many sales reps get frustrated by this and often try to get past these very important people, thinking that only the decision maker is worth talking to.
As I’m sure you’ve no doubt noticed, influencers have, well, a big influence on the final decision sometimes, and they almost certainly have a big influence on the decision maker.
So use the five questions below to understand what role your influencer plays, and how you can use this information to have them help you make the sale:
“_________, you probably work quite closely with (the decision maker), tell me, how open are they to adding (your product or solution)?”
“_________, in terms of what you know, what is their (the decision maker or committee’s) timeline for putting something like this into effect?”
“What other solutions are they considering right now?”
“How do you get involved in the decision on something like this?”
“How much influence (or input) do you have on the final decision?”
“How closely do you work with (the decision maker or committee)?”
[If they are involved]:
“What are you recommending they do right now?”
And (If you’ve been able to pitch the influencer):
“From what we’ve just gone over, do you think this is something that would work for them?”
“Give me your thoughts on how (the decision maker) is going to decide who to pick for this.”
“From what you know, what is (the decision maker) looking for in a solution like this?”
“Given what you know about the urgency for making this decision, how soon do you think they will decide on a solution?”
As you can see, there are many areas and many questions you can ask which will give you tremendous insight into the sales process—if you just ask.
Is the influencer going to know any or all of this? Of course not! But, again, more times than not, they’ll know a lot more than you might think.
And if you begin asking some of these questions, you will know it, too!