Always assume you'll be blocked and rarely will you be incorrect.
Suppose you meet with someone -- your initial contact – and you get along well. She or he likes what you have to say. She or he sees the benefits. Everything seems fine. What typically happens next? Well, you might ask for the ...Always assume you'll be blocked and rarely will you be incorrect.
Suppose you meet with someone -- your initial contact – and you get along well. She or he likes what you have to say. She or he sees the benefits. Everything seems fine. What typically happens next? Well, you might ask for the order. She or he may say, “Let me check with someone else and get back to you.” You're feeling good.
Now let's think about this area. You know that if this is an initial contact, this person is not going to buy on the spot. He or she doesn't have the authority. You know and she or he knows it's got to be approved, for sure upwords and usually reviewed with other associates and peers. Yet your feeling good and expecting (probably without thinking) this contact will do the legwork (selling) running your offering up the flagpole.
Now let's suppose you're talking with this contact and you know it has to be approved and you assume you will be blocked from the next level of approval, or anyone else for that matter. Well, hopefully you’ll be prepared to avoid the block or handle it as it's thrown.
For example, I approached a sales training manager about delivering a program to help her sales people. She seemed positive about what I had to say and felt it would be good for her organization. So I asked her, "Can we meet with the vice president of sales to discuss this further?" I could tell she was reticent about doing this and I expected this type of response. She did say however, that she’d check with him and get back to me.
So I said to her, "You seem a little hesitant. What are your concerns?" She explained that he was probably very busy and she has to check his schedule. To which I then said, "What else?" She then started to explain to me they already have programs. There are some cost issues and she has some concerns about how her people would accept my training.
This confirmed to me that although she had been very friendly and interested about our discussion, she hadn't been sold on my offering. And I know that if someone isn’t sold they will block me until they are.
Had I left thinking this went really well, I would have stopped any further activities and waited for her to set-up a call with the VP of sales -- which probably would never have happened.
Now there are many ways to handle blocking situations and gatekeepers which I will discuss in future articles but more importantly you have ideas that have worked for you in the past. Write them down now so you can start building you arsenal of weapons to use. So stop reading and answer this question. If you know going in that a contact or an admin is going to prevent you from seeing the next level up, what will you do? Write-down three (3) ideas. These will be far more powerful than anything I can suggest because they fit with who you are. Keep them in you briefcase or log them into your Blackberry to review before every meeting.
The main idea to take from this article -- what's critical -- is you must approach every contact -- high-level, low-level, and in between with the assumption she or he will try to keep you from everyone else. No matter who you meet, and no matter what stage of the sales cycle (until you have the order), always assume this person will try to keep you from others. With this thought in your head you'll prepare yourself going in to handle or avoid these situations.
And now I invite you to learn more.
Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link . Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be successful and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.