June 19, 2022

#51 - SALES TIP: How to identify the decisionmaker.

Who makes the call? Who has the final say in a purchasing decision?

It's not always easy to figure that out. But there are things you can do, and questions you can ask.

In this 8 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about figuring out how to get to the right people. And what to look out for.

Who makes the call? Who has the final say in a purchasing decision?

It's not always easy to figure that out. But there are things you can do, and questions you can ask.

In this 8 minute chat, Brendan and Bob talk about figuring out how to get to the right people. And what to look out for.

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 📍 Hi... and this is  Brendan, and you are queued up to watch or listen to another episode of Let's Chat Sales. And in this one... 

we are diving into how do you go about finding out who the decision maker is? It's not always easy, but there are some simple questions you can ask yourself...

or actually ask your customer. And we're going to dive into that right now. And I was always like, and subscribe. 

Um, you don't even have to like it. You give it four stars or three stars. It depends. 

It's not a bad one. We'll see. 

But you'd be the judge. Let's get started.   

Hey Bob. So guess what? It's another episode of Let's Chat Sales... Let's Chat Sales.

And this time we're going to wrestle with a particular problem. 

If you're in a sales environment at some point or another, you're going to run into this problem.

And that is who's the decision maker. Figuring out who the decision-maker is. 

How does that sound? 

It's a, it's an important topic that I will tell you. I'm not always that good at. 

 If you get it wrong, it can really slow you down. If not cripple you.... 

And this becomes a more difficult problem the larger the organization gets to it. 

So  this is particularly a B2B problem. 

If you're selling to a small organization, uh, you know, a small business, you probably know who the decision maker is. 

But if it's a large organization, right. It's much harder.

So who, who, and, and that can change 

over the course of the process, right? 

Yeah, really the worst. Yeah. When reorgs happen or someone quits. Retire, right. Gets fired or whatever.  So, how do you wrestle with that?  for one, you ask people Right. Straight up.  Who do we need to talk to? 

Who else needs decision makers what I like to ask.

Who's involved in this decision process. And then when they answer... oh, well it's me. 

Is it just you? Or are there like who's from a user standpoint? Or who's from an engineering standpoint?

And the minute you start to... oh, no, it's all me.

Is it though, you know? So that's one level, right. 

And that allows you to sleuth out and kind of tease out who else might be involved.

How about you... other thoughts? 

Uh, yeah, one of the ways I do is I like to see who emails go to.

You know, from the client.  Who do they include an email?

It's like, oh yeah. So Donna, tell me about Donna. Oh, she's the VP of sales. She's. 

If you're going to get this, you really need Donna to be on board. Like, oh, when can we meet with Donna? 

Yeah. Right. I find that people often put in the emails names that you don't know, and that can be really helpful. 

An org chart can help. If you have an org chart. If you know who reports to whom, 

then that can, that can be helpful, but that isn't always necessarily the final answer.

LinkedIn can be helpful. Yep. You can kind of figure out org chart stuff from LinkedIn in some cases. 

Here's one thing. It's invariably never the purchasing people. If you think it's the contracting folks or procurement or purchasing... 

if that's what you think it is, you're invariably wrong about that.

It's not them. And it's probably not IT.... unless it's an IT product... like a pure IT product.

But even then there's usually someone watching over them. 

Yeah, you know, I used to sell database software and it's surprising how important the sales and marketing opinion 

was in terms of making decision about something as esoteric as relational database software.

The other thing to keep in mind is in a lot of companies, especially larger companies...

and it depends again, into certain industries are more this way than others, but, it's very consensus driven. 

Some industries are very. You know, they do everything collaboratively.

And I spent a lot of time selling to academic medical centers and hospitals. 

I was going to say healthcare tends to be that way. 

Partly because they're typically affiliated with universities, medical schools.

And as a result that kind of bleeds into the culture of the organization.

So it's very collaborative and consensus driven. And so you have to triangulate a lot. 

You have to get to know a lot of different people and, and make sure that you're talking to a lot of different folks and understanding all the different dynamics. 

And so there may be one decision maker, but that decision maker is going to take the temperature of a lot of other people before they...

and sometimes they even do the math in their head. They like, oh, I got Joe is against me or against this idea, 

but Bob is for it and Mary's for it. And they, they kind of do the math in their head and figure out what, what they can get away with or what what's gonna make the least number of people unhappy.

Yes. Yes. 

What what's 

that? I probably have another one, which is if you've done this before. 

If there's someone with the title that you dealt with or people or committee or team you think might be at another company. 

And I'm surprised how many times people think of is brand new. They've never done it before.

It's like if you've talked to seven directors of IT sales, on the eighth... Might want to talk to that person.

I'm thinking like cyber security stuff. You know who buys that? The two groups, as I understand it, cyber people like security folks. 

And risk management people. Those two groups typically, and maybe they filter up to the chief operating officer or, or the CIO, but that little group.

And, sales does not get to vote that oftentimes doesn't vote on that and neither does product management.

But in other areas with other products, it may be much more, um, disseminated.

Or much more, um, spread out... that decision-making process. 

And as we said in the beginning, that decision maker and identifying those people that are involved, 

it gets tougher and tougher the larger that organization gets.

And the politics that go into that, so...

But it's critical to success. 

Yeah. And so, so ultimately  the takeaway, I would say, would be asked.... ask who's involved in this decision?

And who gets to vote?

You can even say like... whose vote matters the most, right? 

Granted, we have to address this and this and this. All these things. We have to address these things for everybody. 

I get that. But whose vote matters? Who gets to,  uh, cut the, is it cut the baby in half?

Oh, you don't get the baby in half? Oh geez. Solomon?

I am. You're asking the wrong guy. Well, I think, I think, yeah, I think he's like, I think that's biblical. 

So, uh, So someone, someone is going to have more of a vote and someone is going to get to say...

hey, listen, I'm going to cut through all this. And this is where we're going to go.  And if you can ask enough people... directly or indirectly. 

They'll tell you. They're going to tell you, and that helps you.

And the last thing I'll say on this is... budget matters. Who's got the spending money? Who gets to spend the money?

Where's the money coming from?

You don't have to ask how much the budget is...

And where it gets a little difficult. And this is true in large organizations... is when the budget is split across like...

multiple people are paying and then that complicates it. 

It makes it fun if you're if you into this sort of thing, but, but it certainly complicates things. 

So the money, I don't know if we yeah. Right, exactly. So I don't know. Do we answer that? 

I think we did it. Okay. So with that. 

Can we do this again sometime, Brendan? 

I think... why not? 

And I would love some people to rate us five stars or share what we do.  

I think we can sometimes anyway, do better... four stars? I'd like some four-star ratings. 

Maybe, maybe an occasional three. If you're feeling really a generous... uh, four, five. One star, you did.

Oh my gosh, we're going the wrong way. We're going the wrong way. 

All right. So that's it. I think we could. All right, let's do this again. 

All right. Sounds good. 

Okay. So that was another episode of Let's Chat Sales. And as Bob mentioned, uh, give us a rating, a five stars or four or three. 

Ah, you know, whatever and, uh, any feedback we love send it to hello at letschatsales.com. 

And thanks for listening and watching. And, and, uh, if you're watching, check out this one, 

All right. Thanks.