There is no doubt that there has been a steady increase in the individuals involved in making any kind of decision in most businesses. There are now more committees or boards that have to be somehow integrated into the decision making process. According to CEB, a global best practice insights company, there is on average 5 people that have to formally sign off on purchases. With this in mind and with the fact that you are paid on the ability to get the prospect to make a decision, purchase or not, does it not make sense to have a clear understanding on how that decision would be made?
One of the most important fundamental tools acquired through The Action Suite, is CAP, also known as; Customer Approval Protocol. During the development of a proper CAP you will be able to ascertain whether all the decision makers will be present for the meeting that you are coordinating with your prospect.
In today’s constant challenge of time management and hurried state of everyone, why would you have a meeting without having all the decision makers present? However, I do understand that in some cases it is an impossibility to have all present at the same time, but now it becomes your call on whether or not this is a meeting that should happen. That is. of course, unless you like driving back and forth to give the same presentation multiple times to the same company.
Once the players are identified, what is the process that the company has in place to make the final decision? The reason for knowing the process allows you the information required when you may need to call back to handle any questions and/or objections that may have come up while they discuss your proposal. Never assume that if questions come up that they will phone you to get clarification. It will never happen. Furthermore, if they decide not to proceed because of questions you have to look no further than a mirror to look in the eye of who is at fault for not making that transaction.
We have established the who and what. Now comes the ‘gutsy’ question to ask. This question is seldom asked. However, by reading my blog you know that we do not do what everyone else does because if we did, we would get the same result that everyone else gets. Everyone I have worked with wants to achieve better results than everyone else. Therefore, ask: “Why is the decision made that way?” In the majority of cases, especially if it is an established company, they have absolutely no idea why. This may get your decision done right there and now instead of waiting; days, weeks, or months.
With the ‘why’ question you may get that they do need the time to discuss, or talk to the others that were not able to attend the meeting or numerous other reasons. In this case, you need to know when the decision will be made. At this point, you need to make sure that you get specific. Next week, in a few days, later do not exist in business. Next week should be followed with: “Which day?” when they give you a day, then: “Morning or afternoon?” once the choice is made, you think it’s done? Not quite: “Early or late?” Now you get: “Thursday early afternoon.” Your responsibility is to make sure that on Thursday afternoon at 1:30 you are making a call for the decision.
In the end, the number of sales you make is in direct proportion to the decisions you get.