Sales Tip #2: When More People are Added to the Equation

Sales Tip #2: If a potential client asks for another meeting with the specific purpose of bringing more people into the discussion, you should assume those people are influential.

Sometimes when selling to someone, that person will request a follow-up meeting for the purpose of involving more people in the decision-making process.  More often than not, a decision-maker is not going to bring more people into the discussion for the heck of it.  Instead, this person realizes that wise decision-makers know to surround themselves with wise advisers.  As a seller, it’s important to learn what perspective each adviser has to offer, and what role they will make in the decision-making process. 

It doesn’t have to be hard.  Begin with the same process you used for the initial meeting.  Get the names of the people who will be joining you at the next meeting and do some research about them online.  Then, start the next meeting with our go-to question from Sales Tip #1, “Hi [colleague’s name], it’s nice to meet you.  Can you tell me a little about yourself and your role at [company’s name]?”  Then, follow that question up with another question directed at the original buyer, “Hi [buyer], nice to see you again.  I understand you wanted [colleague’s name] to join us this time.  What perspective are you hoping she/he brings to the table?”

These questions will help you discover what areas you should focus your discussion on.  Did the buyer bring financial experts to the meeting?  Product experts?  Social media experts?  Whatever their areas of expertise, your buyer probably has questions about your proposed solution in those areas and wants the new participants’ opinions on the matter. 

Finally, in addition to helping you know what areas to focus the discussion on; these questions will also help with relationship building.  They will help you begin to build relationships with the new participants in the decision-making process, and they will strengthen your relationship with the original buyer.  Remember, it was his or her choice to bring these people into the decision-making process, so respecting them communicates that you respect the buyer’s judgment – and respect is one of the cornerstones of a strong relationship. 

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