Beware the quiet one!

“Beware the quiet one in the corner.  They are the ones likely to wield the power and sign the cheque”  Words drilled into my at the beginning of my career almost 4 decades ago.

Over the years I’ve seen many instances where sales people ignored this advice and lost deals.

It happens when selling to a couple.  One seems dominant so you focus on them, ignoring the quiet one.  Car salesmen were notorious.  They’d focus on the male while ignoring the true buyer, the female.

In a business environment when selling to multiple stake holders there’s a temptation to focus on the people you relate to.  The people who seem most engaged.

But as anyone who’s dealt with the Japanese would tell you, it’s the quiet one in the corner who sits with the inscrutable face, is the boss.  Ignore them at your peril.

When dealing with multiple stakeholders, everyone needs to say “yes”.  A common trap is to believe that just because they’re an existing client and know you, you’ll get the new deal.

Here’s a common scenario.  You know 3 of the 4 players well.  The 4th doesn’t know you and happens to be the bean counter.  If you don’t take the trouble to fully explain your value proposition to him, assuming he’ll understand, you could lose the deal.

Worst case of this I’ve personally seen is a $5M construction deal lost.  Ouch!

Remember, with multiple stakeholders, while one may give final approval and write the cheque, many can say “no” and kybosh the deal.  It’s your job to make sure each person involved understands the value proposition as it applies to them.

For each person think in terms of what’s in it for them.  Both personally and professionally.

Think in terms of money, time, status and happiness/fulfilment.

e.g. How much money will they make or save?  Time – how time would your solution save them and what could they do instead?  Personal status – would this make them look good to their peers, family, society at large?  And personal satisfaction and fulfilment.

All of us want some combination of these.  Your job is to figure out what and show your prospects how your solution will help them achieve these.

And that isn’t always easy.  You have to ask the right questions in a non salesy way.  Which is both an art and a science.

Which is why a major component of our PMS SalesAccelerator system delves into behavioural psychology, emotional intelligence and what makes people tick.

Mastering our methodology will help you close bigger deals faster.

Message or call me on 0414 913 334 to get started.

Share this...
By |2019-10-21T14:36:51+11:00October 21st, 2019|Practical Tips, Sales|0 Comments

About the Author: