Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Jump Rank to Make a Sale

How many times have you been trying to make a sale when you realize that the person you are dealing with does not have decision making authority? It happens all the time.

Here's a tip: Don't jump rank and go around them!

Here's why:
  • Even though your contact person doesn't make the decision, he is an influencer. You will make him mad by going around him or above his head - and then you are doomed.

  • The decision maker may have delegated the research on you or your company to this person because he doesn't have time to do it. Respect this chain of command.

What can you do?

  • Ask your contact person if it would be helpful for you to meet with the decision maker. But be careful not to insult their authority.

  • Ask if you can take your contact and the decision maker to lunch.

  • This one is a little dangerous - but you can have another person within your organization who has a higher ranking than you, contact the decision maker. He might say, "I know so-in-so and so-in-so have been working on this project and I just wanted to see if I can offer any assistance." I recommend this plan of action as a last resort.
We all want to talk to the decision maker - but it won't always happen. It's important to respect protocol and chains of command that your potential client has in place.

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