Influencers are key to both getting through to decision makers, and to eventually making a sale. The question is: How do you properly qualify them and get them to influence the sale in your favor?
There are three keys to successfully dealing with influencers, and the better you understand and use them, the more success you’ll have.
Key Number One: Understand exactly how much influence the influencer has.
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many sales reps buy into the, “Well I need to present this to…” and don’t go beyond that to qualify the influencer’s role.
To avoid that, always both assume the influencer has a voice in the decision, and then qualify her/him for that.
“And how much influence do you have in the final say on this?”
“What role do you play in the final decision?”
Learning how much influence they have is crucial to the overall sales process.
Key Number Two: Make sure your influencer is sold on what you’re offering.
If it’s true that the influencer has to show this or present this to the decision maker, then they had better be sold on it themselves, right?
“Do you personally think this is something that would work for your company?”
“If the (committee, boss, etc.) asked you what you think, what would you say?”
“And from what you’ve seen, is this something you’d recommend to the (decision maker)?”
Key Number Three: Attempt a trial close.
If they buy in to your question that they are going to recommend it, then ask:
“And do they usually go with your recommendation?”
If you get buy in here, then you can either:
1) Set up a meeting to pitch the decision maker.
2) Set a follow up call after they have pitched the decision maker.
Either way, learning how to do a better job at dealing with the influencer will go a long way to controlling the sale, and making more of them!