Sales begin from the bottom-up or the top-down. They can begin internally from a perceived need, or they can begin externally from a marketing presentation. No matter how the sale initiates it ends with the executive in charge of the decision saying yes or no.

Sales can turn into large ...Sales begin from the bottom-up or the top-down. They can begin internally from a perceived need, or they can begin externally from a marketing presentation. No matter how the sale initiates it ends with the executive in charge of the decision saying yes or no.

Sales can turn into large accounts if the executives impacted associate you and your company with solutions that benefit each of them. If so, you will be able to use this credibility for more sales and referrals, quicker and easier. If not, your stuff will be considered a commodity and the subordinates will be under tremendous pressure to reduce your price and/or switch vendors. Therefore your goal is to be recognized by the leaders.

Executive Make Decisions. Subordinates Recommend

Most sales people believe that sales, especially technical sales, are made at lower levels. They argue that the executive is just a rubber stamp. If the executive is so perfunctory, then why is the information about your offering taken to him or her for approval? It’s because this executive is intimately involved in the outcome. He or she may have been the thrust behind the bigger solution of which your product plays a part. Most importantly s/he will take the hit if it fails.

If one believes that the senior techie or subordinate makes the decision, then you have relinquished control of your sale to the techie. What if the boss says no to the techie’s recommendation? What if this subordinate doesn’t understand the bigger picture? Then you’re dead. Subordinates are important to you because they can affect you positively or negatively, but they do not call the shots. They approve the spec’s and requirements.

Senior managers approve the deal and being connected in where they live gives sales people the opportunity to influence the real issues. Being connected in the executive living quarters also gives sales people the opportunity to influence other associates. These associates are important because at the upper levels they talk and listen to each other. Subordinates can be dismissed, but same and higher levels will not be dismissed. Exec’s eat lunch together. They sit in staff meetings and discuss strategies that involve your solutions. The better known you are by these suite members, the better your chances for success.

How Executives Decide

Decisions are based on risk and effort involved compared to the perceived benefit to the individual executives. They hate risk and avoid unnecessary battles. If something is working, why change? 80% of high level managers are risk avoiders. So knowing what each fears is critical to understanding what it will take to overcome a no or a stalled decision. Additionally, leaders seek concurrence from their associates. Rarely will they go it alone or without trial balloons. Politics are crucial and personal gains are the root of politics. All the more reason to know what the other executives are thinking.

Executives are paid to make decisions to help the company prosper and/or survive. If they make good decisions they keep their job and all its rewards or move up the organizational ladder to more rewards. While making their decisions, they gather information, analyze it, filter it through their intelligence/experience and political mechanisms and then decide. Decisions they make are good for the company, but real good for themselves. Even those really nice, salts of the earth, corporate team players, decide based on what’s in it for her/him. If they say no to a decision, they may use the company, the economy or budgets, as excuses. Bottom line, the gain is not big enough for the risk and/or effort involved.

Think about a sale you worked on hard and didn’t get. If you knew what the executive in charge of the decision feared or was afraid of losing, you would have had the real reason the sale stalled, stopped or was lost. If you knew, you could have possibly built a strategy to relieve the fear and/or perceived effort. You probably rationalized the loss on price. Sales are not lost on price. Price is an easy justification – usually passed-on by the subordinate.

So What Do You Do?

Understanding what’s good for the executive, from the executive’s perspective, is going to be your #1 key to winning over executives. To do this you must gain access to the executives and learn what’s in it for each, the risk for each and the effort for each.. The magnitude of these and the impact to each will dictate the involvement/influence of the particular associates. Have you made sales in the past without doing this? Absolutely. However, you were lucky. Someone else delivered your message or the executive figured out by her/himself that the win/fear ratio was the best with you.

To get to the leaders clubhouse use the subordinates. If you sell the subordinates, they will help you. If you don’t they will block you. Once in the “members only” area, learn the results, expectations, benefits and fears of the members you meet. Without this first hand knowledge of each executive you will never really know what’s important and what’s holding up the decision going your way.

After getting there and interviewing each executive, you can now do what you know how to do best. Present your solutions. However, now you’ll know how to fit your solution to each executive so s/he will personally gain or avoid loss without risk. Remember each member has his/her own agenda. This is why individual meeting are far better than group presentations. These people do not want to sound self-serving in front of their associates. But you will never get their vote unless each sees the win for him/herself.

Fear of the Subordinates

If you’re still hung up, on the subordinate, purchasing agents, brokers, and administrators being the decision-maker, consider this. These people can maintain a sale – meaning they can continue to approve buying the same product. They cannot approve new initiatives or system changes. They can not spend money without a budget. Matter of fact they usually have to get approval to spend their budget money. These people can only solicit bids, beat you silly for price and finally recommend. Call me crazy, but this is the way it is. You can not ignore the techie or circumvent them or they’ll hurt you. If they keep you from moving up, they have not yet bought into you.

If you’re the incumbent, keep these people happy. However, make sure you get introduced to the executives and develop a positive relationship. Your competition is hammering away trying to find an in. The one that appeals to the executives, wins. The one that stays low, eventually loses.

Click either link for More Articles on www.SamManfer.com
see http:///www.sammanfer.com/article.htm

Author's Bio: 

Sales begin from the bottom-up or the top-down. They can begin internally from a perceived need, or they can begin externally from a marketing presentation. No matter how the sale initiates it ends with the executive in charge of the decision saying yes or no.

Sales can turn into large accounts if the executives impacted associate you and your company with solutions that benefit each of them. If so, you will be able to use this credibility for more sales and referrals, quicker and easier. If not, your stuff will be considered a commodity and the subordinates will be under tremendous pressure to reduce your price and/or switch vendors. Therefore your goal is to be recognized by the leaders.

Executive Make Decisions. Subordinates Recommend

Most sales people believe that sales, especially technical sales, are made at lower levels. They argue that the executive is just a rubber stamp. If the executive is so perfunctory, then why is the information about your offering taken to him or her for approval? It’s because this executive is intimately involved in the outcome. He or she may have been the thrust behind the bigger solution of which your product plays a part. Most importantly s/he will take the hit if it fails.

If one believes that the senior techie or subordinate makes the decision, then you have relinquished control of your sale to the techie. What if the boss says no to the techie’s recommendation? What if this subordinate doesn’t understand the bigger picture? Then you’re dead. Subordinates are important to you because they can affect you positively or negatively, but they do not call the shots. They approve the spec’s and requirements.

Senior managers approve the deal and being connected in where they live gives sales people the opportunity to influence the real issues. Being connected in the executive living quarters also gives sales people the opportunity to influence other associates. These associates are important because at the upper levels they talk and listen to each other. Subordinates can be dismissed, but same and higher levels will not be dismissed. Exec’s eat lunch together. They sit in staff meetings and discuss strategies that involve your solutions. The better known you are by these suite members, the better your chances for success.

How Executives Decide

Decisions are based on risk and effort involved compared to the perceived benefit to the individual executives. They hate risk and avoid unnecessary battles. If something is working, why change? 80% of high level managers are risk avoiders. So knowing what each fears is critical to understanding what it will take to overcome a no or a stalled decision. Additionally, leaders seek concurrence from their associates. Rarely will they go it alone or without trial balloons. Politics are crucial and personal gains are the root of politics. All the more reason to know what the other executives are thinking.

Executives are paid to make decisions to help the company prosper and/or survive. If they make good decisions they keep their job and all its rewards or move up the organizational ladder to more rewards. While making their decisions, they gather information, analyze it, filter it through their intelligence/experience and political mechanisms and then decide. Decisions they make are good for the company, but real good for themselves. Even those really nice, salts of the earth, corporate team players, decide based on what’s in it for her/him. If they say no to a decision, they may use the company, the economy or budgets, as excuses. Bottom line, the gain is not big enough for the risk and/or effort involved.

Think about a sale you worked on hard and didn’t get. If you knew what the executive in charge of the decision feared or was afraid of losing, you would have had the real reason the sale stalled, stopped or was lost. If you knew, you could have possibly built a strategy to relieve the fear and/or perceived effort. You probably rationalized the loss on price. Sales are not lost on price. Price is an easy justification – usually passed-on by the subordinate.

So What Do You Do?

Understanding what’s good for the executive, from the executive’s perspective, is going to be your #1 key to winning over executives. To do this you must gain access to the executives and learn what’s in it for each, the risk for each and the effort for each.. The magnitude of these and the impact to each will dictate the involvement/influence of the particular associates. Have you made sales in the past without doing this? Absolutely. However, you were lucky. Someone else delivered your message or the executive figured out by her/himself that the win/fear ratio was the best with you.

To get to the leaders clubhouse use the subordinates. If you sell the subordinates, they will help you. If you don’t they will block you. Once in the “members only” area, learn the results, expectations, benefits and fears of the members you meet. Without this first hand knowledge of each executive you will never really know what’s important and what’s holding up the decision going your way.

After getting there and interviewing each executive, you can now do what you know how to do best. Present your solutions. However, now you’ll know how to fit your solution to each executive so s/he will personally gain or avoid loss without risk. Remember each member has his/her own agenda. This is why individual meeting are far better than group presentations. These people do not want to sound self-serving in front of their associates. But you will never get their vote unless each sees the win for him/herself.

Fear of the Subordinates

If you’re still hung up, on the subordinate, purchasing agents, brokers, and administrators being the decision-maker, consider this. These people can maintain a sale – meaning they can continue to approve buying the same product. They cannot approve new initiatives or system changes. They can not spend money without a budget. Matter of fact they usually have to get approval to spend their budget money. These people can only solicit bids, beat you silly for price and finally recommend. Call me crazy, but this is the way it is. You can not ignore the techie or circumvent them or they’ll hurt you. If they keep you from moving up, they have not yet bought into you.

If you’re the incumbent, keep these people happy. However, make sure you get introduced to the executives and develop a positive relationship. Your competition is hammering away trying to find an in. The one that appeals to the executives, wins. The one that stays low, eventually loses.

Click either link for More Articles on www.SamManfer.com
see www.sammanfer.com/article.htm