It is a debilitating fallacy to believe that decision makers in an organization understand and are concerned about how the spinning of their cog affects the movement of the organizational wheel. They don’t.
There is reason why a business-to-business (B2B) sale is also called a complex sale. The Business Daily you buy from the newspaper vendor is an example of a business (Nation Media Group (NMG), in this case) to customer (you) sale; getting your company to subscribe to several copies of The Business Daily regularly, is an example of a business (NMG) to business (your company) sale. The latter one likely has more than one decision maker involved. And each is selfish in what they want to hear in order to make a decision.
The salesperson that propels the B2C sale adapts his pitch to the position. It is a debilitating fallacy to believe that decision makers in an organization understand and are concerned about how the spinning of their cog affects the movement of the organizational wheel. They don’t. Except for the Managing Director (MD) whose job it is to do so. So, just go pitch straight to the MD, yes? No. Big mistake, likely to backfire. He’ll still send you back to the other decision makers to get their input first. That’s why he has them. And, no, you will not have the upper hand because you’ve been sent from on high so they must listen, and this pitch is a formality. In fact, you are likely to generate friction from bruised egos.
What to do then? First, depending on the magnitude of the sale, understand the organization’s strategy and speak to it as you adapt your pitch to the position. The strategy is the organization’s plan of what it wants to achieve over a specified period. For publicly listed companies, this can be found online. For private, you may need to have someone in the inside share it with you. Then build up to the ultimate decision maker by first addressing the interests of the peripheral ones. For instance, to the Sales Director, how your service or product will accelerate sales. (For this one, it is unlikely the strategy reads different). Try deviating to non-sales matters and you will see his eyes glaze over and his attention wane. To the Human Resources Director, how the staff will be affected. If the strategy speaks of how to increase productivity then show how you will propel this. And if cost management is in the plan, then Finance will be keen to hear how your product or service will help the organization manage cost. If the product is a software installation, it is expected by the ICT department that you will have verified compatibility with their system. You catch the drift.
So why don’t most sellers do this? Because it is hard work. It requires that you have as many pitches of the same product as there are decision makers to pitch to. Like pitching the kitchen to the wife and lounge, husband, when selling a house. But you do that, and watch the sale propel itself.Views – 22