One of the biggest traps in B2B sales is not taking into account the personal agendas of every stakeholder involved in the decision.

We’re all driven by WIIFM what’s in it for me. Is the solution being proposed in my best interest.

Notice, I didn’t say, in my organisation’s best interest.

The reality is we are all driven by some combination of 6 factors. Money, time, status, wellbeing, capability and energy.

So as the seller you must find out what motivates this particular individual and why they’ll either push for or block the deal.

Couple of quick stories to illustrate the point.

A colleague helps factory owners in Australia to improve manufacturing performance from an average 30% to world’s best practice of 85% efficiency. It’s obviously in the organisation’s best interest to do so, but the deal gets stymied by a plant manager who’s often afraid of losing status and possibly his or her job.

Sell technical solutions? While they would be a boon for the business, IT decides it’s either too much work to implement, or they feel they could do it themselves rather than lose relevance and status.

I could go on with dozens of examples including:

Solutions that enhance efficiency get blocked by people who would be shown up.

The not invented here syndrome. Or they have personal relationships with other vendors.

There’s a risk to my status – if the thing goes wrong, I’ll be blamed and it could be a career ending move.

And finally, this will replace me – so I’ll lose my job.

So what can you do to mitigate this very real risk?

First, be aware of it. You have to do your homework and figure out how putting in your solution would be in everyone’s best personal interest.

And that’s not always easy. When we mentor clients in the art of selling to multiple stakeholders, we emphasise the need to understand and form relationships in the organisation at various levels.

To accomplish this we help you Network, Navigate and Negotiate with each stakeholder, understand their buying motivation and gain commitment to move forward.

Which is both an art and a science.

I’ll end by saying it’s not always easy to see the forest for the trees. An uninvolved third party like us can help you navigate issues and ask the tough questions, so you don’t get blindsided at the last moment and actually close deals.

If you would like our help closing business faster with less effort, reach out to me on 0414 913 334.

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