Gaining access to key decision makers presents a delicate balance for sales professionals. Unlike traditional sales calls which allow reps to gain information through questions and discovery, reps must do their homework before meeting with key decision makers.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we’re talking with Nick Neeson about gaining access to key decision makers.
Ten years into his sales career, Nick launched the website Introverted Badass to help introverted men take control of their love lives. He left his corporate job two years ago to focus on this part of his career, which he considers an extension of his past: helping introverted men sell themselves.
Nick offers the following 4 ways to gain access to key decision makers.
1. Focus on intent.
In most cases, the reason sales professionals fail to gain access to key decision makers isn’t their lack of skill. It’s their intent.
They know how to ask questions and understand the pain point, but they seem focused entirely on selling. Nick tries to convince them that intent is more important than technique. Focus more on helping the customer solve problems and less on selling a product.
For sales professionals worried about quotas, the truth is this: as soon as you stop trying to sell and instead focus on solving problems, trust happens.
If you can prove an understanding of your prospect and the problems the company is facing, you’ll likely earn a spot at the table with decision makers who need to solve those problems.
2. Determine the impact of the problem.
Your prospects’ problems aren’t likely confined to one department in the company. Most often, problems impact multiple departments in different ways.
If you can understand and communicate how the problem is impacting other departments, you’ll increase the likelihood of gaining additional access.
If you can find reasons for the problems and prove a cross-departmental issue, they’re more likely to give you access to their superiors.
3. Demonstrate understanding.
Most reps trying to gain access to decision makers must get through a gatekeeper first. And while that person may seem like an obstacle, the truth is that the easiest way to gain access to decision makers is through a sponsored relationship.
When your current contact in the company sees that you understand the decision-making process, he’ll be more likely to provide access to decision makers. When he sees that you understand how the team functions, he’ll feel more confident granting access.
He won’t worry that you’ll try to close too quickly, and he’ll be more willing to grant access to decision makers.
4. Expect to get access.
Instead of asking the gatekeepers in the company to give you access, suggest it yourself.
“It seems like the next time we meet, we should talk with the CFO.”
By this point, you will have earned the trust of the gatekeepers and proven your intent to help solve problem.
It’s common for sales professionals to focus on lower levels in the company where the pain points are most prominent. It’s important, however, to get comfortable with the idea of interacting with decision makers.
“Getting Access to Key Decision Makers” resources
Connect with Nick at his website Introverted Badass.
Learn more about operating as a trusted sales leader in every transaction in the book Stop Selling & Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happenfrom our sponsors at Wiley. It’s a playbook for sales professionals written from the perspective of people who buy.
We’re so convinced of its message that we’re offering a free excerpt of the book so you can check it out for yourself.
If all of this sounds great to you but you still aren’t sure how to start, check out The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League, an online group coaching program for new and struggling sellers that gathers insights from people of all levels and industries.
You can also join our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers to connect with sales professionals from all walks of life.
Leave us a review wherever you consume this content and share it with someone else who might benefit from our message. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss a single episode.
Audio provided by Free SFX.