Why ignoring personal agendas will cost you sales

Having had a corporate and business sales career spanning 30 years I’ve come to an inescapable conclusion. Something that if you don’t take into account and handle, will cost you dearly.

That is, if you don’t take your prospects personal agendas and self-interest into account you could ultimately lose deals.

Here’s an example I heard about years ago.

Transcript

Having had a corporate and business sales career spanning 30 years I’ve come to an inescapable conclusion. Something that if you don’t take into account and handle, will cost you dearly.

That is, if you don’t take your prospects personal agendas and self-interest into account you could ultimately lose deals.

Here’s an example I heard about years ago.

A facilities management company approached a large prospect with a view to taking over management of all their facilities and locations.

The deal would have been in the best interest of the prospect and a win win for everybody.  But they kept getting blocked by the local facilities manager.

Pretty obvious when you think about it.  This chap was worried about losing his job if it was outsourced.  His own self-preservation meant he wasn’t going to budge and ok the deal.

Doing some digging, the sales team found out where the blockage was and went to the local chap and told him they were expanding and thought he’d be an ideal candidate for a new expanded role with them.

Guess what.  He took the offer.  The facilities management company got the deal and everybody won.

So let’s look at the principle here.

If you’re dealing with a small business owner, they are the organisation. They are the business and what’s good for them is also good for the organisation.

But often, the bigger the entity, the greater the disparity between the personal agendas of the people involved in the decision and the good of the organisation they ultimately work for.

Put another way, what’s good for the organisation is not necessarily in their personal best interest which means they may well thwart the deal.

Here are some of the ways we continually see it play out.

IT is a classic case if you’re selling a solution which requires interfacing with internal systems.  Not wanting extra work, they’ll block the deal claiming they’re too busy to implement the solution or even worse, they can implement it themselves and create it themselves.

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

Then there’s the not invented here syndrome.  Or they have personal relationships with other vendors.

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

So what can you do to mitigate this?

First, be aware of it.  In any sale where there are 2 or more people involved, there is a risk.

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 coach clients in the art of selling to multiple stakeholders, we emphasise the need to understand and form relationships in the organisation at various levels.

As in the case of the local facilities manager and his agenda, find someone who can help you elicit agendas and navigate the informal structures.  Who are the influencers?  Who really has the power to make decisions?  Who can’t say yes, but like IT can say no.

Then cover off all these bases.

Now, there’s obviously a lot more to closing complex deals.

Our practical marketing and sales coaching programs combined with my 30 years’ experience selling these sorts of very high end deals will enable you to successfully navigate organisations, figure out who’s who in the zoo, their business and personal agendas and close more deals.

So if you want to improve your results, give me a call.

Till next time, this is Rashid Kotwal.

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By |2018-10-09T09:15:09+11:00October 5th, 2018|Practical Tips, Sales, Video, Video Carousel|0 Comments

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