Small business sales executives have three decision makers to win over
By BuildMyBiz on February 25th, 2013
February 25, 2013 in Sales and Marketing
Small business sales requires getting on the good side of not just one but three decision makers, according to expert Geoffrey James, and account managers should be wary of the several pet peeves of people in those positions.
A good start is essential
Whether a sales executive is talking to the person in charge of a company’s finances, the manager of a department or the business’ gatekeeper, he should know that they all have similar buttons pushed by salespeople every day, Sales Gravy reports. The networking community says one key to making a sale is being original and avoiding the pitfalls many others fall into by trying to force themselves through to decision makers. Creating an opening pitch that differs greatly from cliché lines is vital to the success of a salesperson, the source claims.
Another tip Sales Gravy offers is to act personable and treat the people required to get through to decision makers well. James mentions in his Inc Magazine editorial that the first person a sale executive meets or speaks with on the phone, the gatekeeper, is the first obstacle between an account manager and a sale.
Working with the three decision makers
Still, many people tend to forget how important this employee is to them in small business marketing or sales, and Sales Gravy says downplaying the role of administrative assistants by belittling their intelligence or their hand in approving a purchase is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make.
The two other workers needed to reach a sale is the person in charge of the department the product or service targets and the employee who manages the organization’s money, James claims. The source says while the branch manager is essential to approval, he or she rarely have a minute to spare – therefore, the office manager is even more important to completing a deal, as they will typically be the one to teach a salesperson about the company and relay all information about the product or service being sold to higher-ups.
Lastly, James says the financial manager is in a similar position with time as the department head, so a salesperson should pitch as much value of their product as possible and be clear about the costs with the gatekeeper. Doing some investigating before visiting an office, Sales Gravy says, can prevent an account manager from pitching to a business that may not have the need or the financial backing to support what they have to offer.